Henrico names McDowell as fire chief


Anthony E. McDowell has been named the new chief of the Henrico County Division of Fire, effective Oct. 20. County Manager Virgil Hazelett made the announcement Oct. 10.

McDowell, who has been serving as battalion chief of administration in the Henrico Division of Fire, will succeed Edwin W. Smith, who retired in September after five years as fire chief.

As fire chief, McDowell will oversee a department with 539 employees, including more than 500 state-certified firefighters, and a budget of $49.6 million for fiscal 2012-13.

The Division of Fire provides fire protection and prevention services and is the primary provider of emergency medical services in Henrico. The department manages 20 fire stations and a training facility and covers an area encompassing 244 square miles. It also operates a regional hazardous materials team and provides technical rescue, ground search and water rescue. The Division of Fire responded to more than 39,000 calls in fiscal 2011-12.

McDowell joined the Division of Fire in 1997 as a firefighter. He later rose to fire lieutenant and fire captain before becoming battalion chief of administration in 2011. He holds a bachelor’s degree in geography from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Texas. He is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Virginia Fire Prevention Association, Virginia Chapter of the International Society of Fire Service Instructors and Central Virginia All Hazards Incident Management Team. He is certified as an executive fire officer by the U.S. Fire Administration and a chief fire officer by the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
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