Local fire chiefs were in the news last week. The city hired Henrico County Assistant Chief Andrew Baxter to head the Charlottesville Fire Department, succeeding Charles Werner, who retired after 37 years in the department.
Although he’s worked in Henrico since 1995, Baxter has lived in the Charlottesville area for 25 years, and he has a nursing degree from UVA. He’s eager to work in the same community where he lives. “We talk about that all the time in the fire department,” he says. “It’s hard to do when you’re commuting 65 miles.”
The biggest difference in jobs is going from a department with 526 members to Charlottesville’s more petite 91-person staff. “I’m looking forward to knowing everyone in the department,” says Baxter, who starts September 14.
Over in the county, the International Fire Chiefs Association named Albemarle Fire & Rescue’s Dan Eggleston Career Fire Chief of the Year August 27 in Atlanta. Eggleston has led the department for 13 years and has been a chief since 1998.
Eggleston heads a department of 600 staff and volunteers. During his tenure, he’s added three fire stations to improve response time in the 720 square-mile county and 90 career firefighters to supplement daytime staffing in the volunteer stations.—C-VILLE writers