Virginia Beach Fire Chief David Hutcheson to Retire
After 35 years of dedicated public service, Fire Chief David Hutcheson has announced his plans to retire at the end of this year.
Chief Hutcheson started as a volunteer with the Kempsville Fire Station #9 before joining the Virginia Beach Fire Department (VBFD) in August 1988. Progressing through the ranks, his positions include 17 years in various fire station assignments, captain of fire administration, chief public information officer, district chief of the North Division and deputy chief of operations. Following the promotion of then Fire Chief Steven Cover to deputy city manager, Hutcheson was appointed interim fire chief on Nov. 7, 2016, and later appointed the fifth fire chief for the City of Virginia Beach on June 8, 2017.
During his time as chief, Hutcheson has been instrumental in forging the Mutual Aid Agreement with Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek/Fort Story for cohabitation of both military and civilian firefighters on a United States military base; the completion of four-person staffing on all single engine companies; developing the Surface Rescue Swimmers Program; orchestrating the addition of a 5th Battalion to increase operational readiness and service delivery, as well as adding a shift commander for all three shifts; and the new Burton Fire Station #22, slated to open early this fall.
Two very important initiatives Chief Hutcheson is most proud of is the appointment of the first LGBTQ liaison officer for the department and the region, as well as the implementation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee for the VBFD.
Chief Hutcheson is an original member of the Virginia Task Force 2 Urban Search & Rescue Team (VA-TF2) and currently serves as the sponsor agency chief for the team. As a member of VA-TF2, he has been deployed to many complex disaster situations, including the Oklahoma City bombing, numerous hurricane deployments, and the Haiti earthquake.
Hutcheson is a member of multiple professional organizations, including the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association, where he previously served on the executive board as the president and still co-chairs the annual Fire and Rescue Conference. He has been a long-term volunteer for the Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team (NEST) and is now a member of its executive board. His passion to serve, coupled with his compassion for humanity, is evident in all that he does.
"As a respected fire official at the local, state, regional and federal level, Chief Hutcheson's departure will undoubtedly leave some big shoes to fill," stated City Manager Patrick Duhaney. "This organization and the Virginia Beach community has greatly benefited from his professionalism, dedication, and commitment to the continued growth and advancement of the Virginia Beach Fire Department."
Over the next few months, City Manager Duhaney will work with Human Resources to recruit and fill this position.
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