Katie Thisdell reports on news from Stafford County. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 540/735-1975.
Mark Lockhart named Fire Chief
Mark Lockhart has been named Stafford County’s chief of fire and emergency medical services.
Lockhart, who first came to the county in 2010, has been serving as the acting fire chief since May, while county staff and the Board of Supervisors conducted a national search to fill the position.
“Mark’s extensive experience in the fire service, emergency medical services and homeland security has brought valuable operational expertise and strategic leadership to the Stafford County Fire and Rescue Department,” County Administrator Anthony Romanello said in a statement. “In addition, his approachability, combined with his exceptional teambuilding and communication skills, has strengthened relationships among Stafford County agencies such as the Sheriff’s Office, as well as with many organizations outside of the county. I believe that Mark has the determination and “big picture” outlook to take Stafford Fire and Rescue to the next level.”
Former Chief Rob Brown, the first chief over the county’s combined volunteer and career units, left Stafford to become the Fire Chief in Fresno, Calif.
“I am honored and excited to be appointed as Stafford County’s next Fire Chief,” said Chief Lockhart in a statement. “I am looking forward to working with the Board of Supervisors, our staff and our citizens on continuing to develop our department’s service response and emergency management efforts, and building Stafford County’s reputation in the Commonwealth of Virginia as the top fire and rescue organization.”
Lockhart, the father of three, was previously a chief in the Maryland Heights Fire Protection District in Missouri. From 1995 to 2010, he filled several roles: EMS officer, battalion chief, deputy chief in charge of EMS, interim chief and then district chief.
In July 2010, Lockhart was hired as an assistant chief and oversaw administrative, logistics/fleet, EMS and training divisions. He also has worked with administration, finance and with accreditation efforts.
According to the county’s release: Over the course of 30 years in public service, Chief Lockhart has worked for an ambulance district, a fire protection district, an air medical (medevac) program, Level 1 trauma center, and a county fire department. In addition, he has served as a board member, vice president and president of state and national EMS associations, a committee member for the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and contributing textbook author and reviewer. He has also taught EMS and fire service professionals in the United States, Mexico, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. He received the Meritorious Service Award from the International Association of Fire Chiefs in 2011, James O. Page Award from the International Association of Fire Chiefs in 2009, and several awards from the National Association of EMTs in the late 1980s and early 1990s.