January 3, 2023

Pravetz Sworn-In As New Virginia Beach Fire Chief

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Jan. 3, 2023) — Today, Kenneth A. Pravetz was officially sworn into office as the new Fire Chief for the Virginia Beach Fire Department at a ceremony held in City Council Chamber. Guest speakers included Mayor Robert M "Bobby" Dyer and City Manager Patrick Duhaney. The Oath of Office was officiated by Thomas R. Cahill, magistrate regional supervisor of Virginia.

Prior to being appointed as Fire Chief, Pravetz served with the Virginia Beach Fire Department since February 1999. Chief Pravetz has 35 years of career fire experience. He is a U.S. Air Force Veteran. Chief Pravetz has worked for Virginia Beach for 23 years. As he progressed through the ranks, Chief Pravetz held many challenging assignments. His current assignment is the Deputy Chief of Services responsible for personnel, finance, training, logistics, planning, and community risk reduction. As a member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Urban Search & Rescue Virginia Task Force 2, home-based out of Virginia Beach, Chief Pravetz has deployed to several National Disasters as a planning team member and task force leader.

"Pravetz has the proven leadership and communication skills needed to be successful across our organization, in collaboration with our community partners and through a wide range of public safety emergencies," City Manager Patrick Duhaney said. "His decades of diversified management experience will help Virginia Beach continue to be a national leader in public safety for many more years to come."

Chief Pravetz holds an associate degree in fire science, a bachelor's degree in health and safety, and a Master of Public Administration Degree. In 2019, Chief Pravetz completed a master's degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Homeland Defense and Security. He has a certificate from the Senior Executives in State and Local Government at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Chief Pravetz is nearing completion of the International Association of Fire Chiefs Fire Service Executive Development Institute.

Chief Pravetz stated, "The VBFD exists to protect the citizens and guests of our great city. As we begin to celebrate the 60th anniversary of this community, I reflect on the firefighters and officers that have established the fire department as an international leader in emergency services. Because of this foundation, we strive for excellence every day. I am excited about the future and truly humbled to be selected as the next fire chief."

Chief Pravetz is very active in the fire service; he serves on three NFPA technical committees and the IAFC Terrorism and Homeland Security Committee. He also represents the IAFC on the Department of Homeland Security Emergency Services Sector Coordinating Council Executive Committee.

His appointment became effective on January 1, 2023.

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Contact Information

VBFD Public Information Officer

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