Charlottesville appoints Dr. Hezedean A. Smith as city fire chief

Dr. Hezedean A. Smith

Dr. Hezedean A. Smith. Photo courtesy City of Charlottesville.

Acting Charlottesville City Manager John Blair announced today the appointment of Dr. Hezedean A. Smith as the city’s fire chief.

Smith, who will take over the new job on Dec. 1, has been with the Orlando Fire Department since 1996 and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he served as a medical service specialist/EMT.

In previous positions within the department, Smith was responsible for EMS operations, fire department information and technology, EMS budget oversight, 911 communications center, EMS grants, service delivery, ambulance accreditation, education, and training.

Smith brings over 32 years’ experience in emergency services and public safety and is recognized nationally and internationally with various credentials in public service, EMS, and the fire service.

“I am honored and excited to appoint Dr. Smith to lead the Charlottesville Fire Department. He will be an asset not only to the department, but also to our city,” said Blair.

Smith earned a doctor of management degree in organizational leadership and a master’s degree in organizational management from University of Phoenix. He has associate degrees in emergency medical services and fire science from Valencia College.

He is also credentialed by the Center for Public Safety Excellence as a chief fire officer and a chief EMS officer. He is a certified public manager and previously completed the Executive Fire and Emergency Services Officer program at the University of Florida.

Smith is also a part-time faculty member at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Columbia Southern University and taught EMS at Valencia College for over 15 years.

“I am happy to be invited to be part of an organization that is committed to family, integrity, respect, and excellence,” said Smith. “Together we will accomplish more and continue to demonstrate our commitment to high quality service delivery and public safety readiness in Charlottesville.”

“On behalf of the City of Charlottesville City Council, I would like to welcome Dr. Smith to our community,” said Mayor Nikuyah Walker. “He has expressed a commitment to transformational leadership. I appreciate Dr. Smith’s thoughtful inquiry during the interview process and his ability to articulate the core values that define his leadership style. I look forward to serving the Charlottesville community with him.”


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