Thomas LaBelle, Prince William County’s new fire and rescue system chief, has more than 30 years in emergency service and comes to the county from Henrico County, where he served as deputy chief.
LaBelle starts May 1, the county said in a news release.
“I have spent my entire life supporting fire and EMS personnel, fire departments and the communities they protect,” said LaBelle. “I’m excited to now be able to serve the Prince William Fire and Rescue System and the Prince William community. I truly believe that the career and volunteer workforce in the county’s Fire and Rescue System are outstanding, and I am humbled to have the opportunity to work side by side with its members.”
LaBelle, who also spent five years as the division chief for Albemarle County Fire Rescue, will over see Prince William County’s Department of Fire and Rescue and its eight volunteer fire and rescue departments. In total, the organizations have 722 full-time employees and 391 operational volunteer personnel.
“Chief LaBelle’s experience in public safety speaks to his understanding and insights in managing a combination fire system and building community relationships through engagement and public service,” said Chair At-Large Ann Wheeler.
According to the county, LaBelle has worked extensively with volunteer companies. Additionally, he is familiar with state and national labor organizations, local labor associations, and collective bargaining units.
“Based on his knowledge and experience, he is well-positioned to continue in the development and leadership of our great Fire and Rescue System,” said Prince William County Executive Christopher Shorter.
Prince William County has been looking for a new chief since the retirement of former Chief Timothy L. Keen in September. Keen started as chief in 2019, but his career in firefighting in Prince William County started when he was a volunteer in 1982.
Featured image courtesy Prince William County
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