Home Charlottesville Fire Department’s Lance Blakey selected into diversity leadership program

Charlottesville Fire Department’s Lance Blakey selected into diversity leadership program

Crystal Graham
Lance Blakey headshot
Lance Blakey, submitted

Charlottesville Fire Department’s Battalion Chief was one of 15 people selected nationwide into the International Association of Fire Chiefs Diversity Executive Leadership program.

Battalion Chief Lance Blakey will take part in an 18-month cohort and will learn from subject matter experts to develop solutions to current and emerging issues and share those initiatives with the fire and emergency services community.

Blakey, the first African American Battalion Chief in the CFD’s 166-year history, was promoted in 2022.

IAFC president John Butler said Blakey was selected in part due to his commitment to community and ability to drive positive change.

The leadership program was created by the IAFC in 2016 and cultivates current and future leaders from under-represented groups using networking, professional development guidance and involvement in strategic opportunities to elevate inclusiveness within the IAFC. The program has expanded to include formal learning objectives that focus on the challenges and impacts faced by leaders and fire service organizations as they relate to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, or DEIB.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.