Fire chief departs Alexandria for McAuliffe administration

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By Derrick Perkins (File Photo)

Fire Chief Adam Thiel is stepping down to take a position with Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s administration.

The announcement came late Friday afternoon. Thiel, who has overseen the city fire department since 2007, will serve as deputy secretary of veterans affairs and homeland security, officials said.

City leaders credited Thiel with upgrading the department’s aging fleet of vehicles and finding money for a fireboat during his tenure in Alexandria. Thiel likewise was lauded for overseeing the construction of new fire stations and leading his staff through the dark days following the tragic death of paramedic Joshua Weissman.

“Chief Thiel has served Alexandria with distinction,” said City Manager Rashad Young in a statement. “His strong leadership, strategic vision, and passionate commitment to our community have left an indelible mark on our city and ensure our continued safety. He has been a vital part of our team, and he will be missed.”

For his part, Thiel said serving as Alexandria’s fire chief has been a “an honor and a privilege.”

“I know the department will continue moving forward with dedication to our community, our profession, and each other,” he said.

Officials, who have not yet announced an interim replacement for Thiel, expect to launch a nationwide search for his successor. Thiel begins his new job in February.