News

Structural Collapse Specialist School Scholarship

VDFP is now accepting applications for scholarships to attend the VATF-2 Structural Collapse Specialist Course in Virginia Beach! Candidates must be in good standing with a local, regional or divisional technical rescue team and have Operations/Level 1 certification at a minimum in all core VDFP technical rescue courses in order to be considered for the scholarship.
 
The deadline to apply for the scholarship is Friday, August 5, 2022.
 
To apply, complete the following steps:
  • Obtain a letter of recommendation from your department head or team leader, provided on departmental letterhead.
  • Complete the VATF-2 SCS student application and follow the instructions on the form for payment and submission
  • Complete the VDFP scholarship application
  • Submit the VDFP scholarship application and the letter of recommendation to Chad Riddleberger, Division Chief of Heavy Technical Rescue
 

State Fire Marshal’s Office Stresses Firework Safety During the Fourth of July Holiday

State Fire Marshal’s Office Stresses Firework Safety During the Fourth of July Holiday

Contact:
Will Merritt
VDFP Public Information Officer
804-249-1986

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RICHMOND (June 29, 2022) - The Virginia Department of Fire Programs-State Fire Marshal’s Office (SFMO) urges Virginians ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend to leave fireworks to the professionals.

In general, any firework that explodes, moves on the ground or in the air, or shoots a projectile is illegal in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Only “permissible fireworks,” as defined in the Code of Virginia, can be legally sold, possessed or used within the Commonwealth. A list of permissible fireworks can be viewed on the VDFP website.

Many localities prohibit the sale, possession or use of all fireworks. The State Fire Marshal’s Office advises Virginians to check local ordinances as well as the Statewide Fire Prevention Code prior to purchasing and utilizing fireworks.

VDFP’s State Fire Marshal’s Office serves as the fire code enforcement sector of the state government training agency. Roughly 125 retail locations were inspected by SFMO in 2021, where nearly one-third locations were found to be selling non-permissible fireworks. In 2021, more than 10,000 non-permissible fireworks were confiscated that were either for sale, or in possession.

“We urge Virginians to leave fireworks to the professionals,” said Billy Hux, VDFP Assistant State Fire Marshal of Special Operations. “As in years past, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Local Fire Marshals and Local Law Enforcement will be out inspecting retail locations to ensure items being sold meet the Code of Virginia definition for Permissible Fireworks.”

The sale, possession and/or use of any fireworks not classified as permissible is prohibited. Violations can be prosecuted as a Class I Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,500 and/or up to one (1) year in jail. Any illegal fireworks can be confiscated and you can be summoned by a Fire Marshal or Law Enforcement Officer.

If you decide to use permissible fireworks, please follow these important safety procedures:

  • If you have fireworks, make sure they are on the 2022 Virginia Permissible Fireworks List
  • Check local ordinances on the use of fireworks
  • Fireworks can only be used on private property with the consent of the owner
  • Never use fireworks indoors or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Ensure adequate clearance from people, buildings and combustible material
  • Have a garden hose or other water source readily available in case of fire
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Never hold the fireworks in your hands while lighting them
  • Never point fireworks at a person

If you wish to report illegal fireworks, contact your local police department or contact the State Fire Marshal’s Office at (540) 270-6617.

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Ken Brown Appointed Coordinator of Community Risk Reduction.

The Virginia Department of Fire Programs is excited to welcome Ken Brown who has been appointed by Governor Youngkin to serve as the Coordinator of Community Risk Reduction.

Ken retired from the position of Fire-Rescue Chief and Coordinator of Emergency Services for Goochland County Virginia after 33 years of career experience. Ken has a long career in the Virginia Fire Services, holding the previous positions as Director of Fire Services for Prince George County, Company Officer with the City of Newport News Fire Dept., and Fire Chief for the 909th CES Fire Dept. USAFR (Ret).

Ken is a certified Instructor IV and has been an adjunct with the Virginia Department of Fire Programs for 38 years. He is a proud graduate of the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officers Program.

Ken has been a member of many fire service organizations, including the Virginia State Firefighters Association, the Metro Chiefs Association, the Emergency Fleet Management Association, where he was the former President, Metro Regional Fire Investigation Task Force, and Virginia State Public Fire and Life Safety Coalition where he was the former Chairman. In 2003, he was appointed to the Virginia Fire Services Board and remained on the Board for ten years.

Currently, he is the State Director for the NVFC, serving as chairman of the Recruitment and Retention committee and Past President of the Virginia State Firefighters Association. Ken has been active in the volunteer fire service for 45 years and is currently an active member of Fire Company 4 of Goochland Fire Rescue.

Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service Scheduled for June 4

Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service Scheduled for June 4

Annual service to be held in the Exhibition Hall at the Richmond Raceway Complex

RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) invites the public to attend the 2022 Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service on Saturday, June 4 at the Richmond Raceway Complex.
The memorial service will begin at noon in the Main Exhibition Hall. The Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service will be streamed live for those who cannot attend in person. Visit: 2022 Virginia Fire & EMS Memorial Service live stream - YouTube.
The service will honor four fallen firefighters:
  • Lyndell N. Woods – Fort Lewis Volunteer Fire Department
  • Lawrence J. Phipps, Sr. – Hanover Fire and EMS
  • Todd A. Landreth – Norfolk Airport Fire Department
  • Sean H. Land – Virginia Beach Fire Department
Now in its 25th year, the Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service was established to honor firefighters and EMS personnel who perished in the line of duty, in accordance with the Virginia Line of Duty Act (§ 9.1-400).
Emergency response personnel, government officials, and public safety members gather to celebrate the courage and dedication of each honoree. The Memorial Service includes a keynote address, a Virginia Fire Services Honor Guard procession, a musical performance, and a fire and EMS apparatus display from departments throughout the Commonwealth.

Creasy Appointed Executive Director

Governor Youngkin appointed Brad Creasy as the Executive Director of the Virginia Department of Fire Programs.

Creasy is an accomplished public safety professional with more than 26 years of fire and emergency service experience.

He began his career with the Bedford Volunteer Fire Department before becoming a career firefighter with the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department. Creasy served in Roanoke City for 21 years and rose through the ranks to Captain. Creasy has served the past 15 years as the fire chief for the Town of Bedford.

Creasy received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Liberty University. He is a Virginia Fire Officer Academy graduate and holds the Chief Fire Officer Designation (CFO) from the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

The 2022 Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service

2022 Virginia Fallen Firefighters and EMS Memorial Service Information

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The 2022 Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service

The 25th annual Virginia Fallen Firefighters & Emergency Medical Services Memorial Service will be held at 12 p.m. on Saturday, June 4, 2022 at the Richmond International Raceway Complex, Main Exhibition Hall. This event is open to the public. 

The Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service will be streamed live for those who cannot attend in person. Visit: 2022 Virginia Fire & EMS Memorial Service live stream - YouTube.

This year's Memorial Service will honor Fallen Firefighters who have been recognized in the Virginia Line of Duty Act in 2022 for their bravery and dedication to the citizens of the Commonwealth.

2022 Honorees 

  • Sean H. Land - Virginia Beach Fire Department
  • Todd A. Landreth - Norfolk International Airport Fire Department
  • Lawrence J. Phipps - Hanover Fire and EMS
  • Lyndell N. Woods - Fort Lewis Vol Fire Department

About the 2022 Memorial Service 

The Memorial Service will include a keynote address, a Virginia Fire Services Honor Guard procession, a musical performance, and a fire and EMS apparatus display from departments throughout the Commonwealth. State flags will be presented to the families of the fallen.

Honor Guard 

Individuals or departments interested in Honor Guard participation should contact Toby Martin at Tmartin@roanokecountyva.gov

Sending Apparatus

If your department is interested in sending apparatus to the Memorial Service, please contact Memorial Service Committee Member Floyd Greene at floydpowhatan@gmail.com.

Contacts

For more information on the Virginia Fallen Firefighters & EMS Memorial Service, contact VDFP PIO Will Merritt at (804) 249-1986 or william.merritt@vdfp.virginia.gov.

Garrett Dyer Appointed as Executive Director

Garrett Dyer Appointed as Executive Director of VDFP

RICHMOND – March 18, 2022 – Governor Glenn Youngkin announced the appointment of Garrett Dyer as Executive Director of the Virginia Department of Fire Programs.

Dyer, who has served as Acting Executive Director since January 2021, will oversee 79 full-time employees and more than 300 adjunct instructors used to deliver more than 130 courses to Virginia’s fire service. In addition, he will manage the enforcement provisions of the Statewide Fire Prevention Code.

Dyer is an accomplished public safety professional with more than 35 years of fire and emergency service experience. He began his career with the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department and became a career firefighter and nationally registered paramedic with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Dyer served in Fairfax County for 30 years and rose through the ranks to Assistant Fire Chief. He joined VDFP in 2018 as the Virginia Fire Marshal Academy Chief before becoming the State Fire Marshal.

Dyer received his bachelor’s degree in Fire Science from the University of Maryland University College. He received his paramedic training from George Washington University and law enforcement training from the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy. Dyer is a graduate of Leadership Fairfax and the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia – Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

2021 Governor’s Fire Service Awards Nominations Open Through December 31, 2021

2021 Governor’s Fire Service Awards Nominations Now Open

Nominations accepted until December 31, 2021

 

RICHMOND – November 3, 2021 – The Virginia Department of Fire Programs, a leader in enhancing public safety, in conjunction with the Virginia Fire Services Board, are seeking nominations for the 2021 Governor’s Fire Service Awards, which honors and recognizes excellence in Fire Services in the Commonwealth.

The annual Governor’s Fire Service Awards is presented in eight categories during the Virginia Fire Rescue Conference held in February at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

Nominations can be submitted through an online form on the VDFP website through December 31, 2021.

 

About the Governor’s Fire Service Awards

The Governor’s Fire Service Awards were established in 2002. In partnership with the Virginia Fire Services Board, the VDFP facilitates the awards. The Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security presents the Governor with award recommendations, at which the final recipients are then selected. Award categories:

  • Governor’s Award for Excellence in Virginia Fire Service
  • Governor’s Award for Excellence in Virginia Community Risk Reduction
  • Governor’s Award for Excellence in Virginia’s Fire Service Training
  • Governor’s Award for Outstanding Fire Department Response
  • Governor’s Award for Private Sector Excellence in Virginia Fire Service Support
  • Governor’s Civilian Excellence in Virginia Fire Service Support
  • Governor’s Virginia Firefighter of the Year
  • Governor’s Virginia Fire Chief of the Year

Among the 2020 recipients were Virginia Beach Fire Department and the City of Staunton Fire and Rescue, who were recognized for Excellence in Virginia Fire Service Trainingand Outstanding Fire Department Response, respectively. Read more about the 2020 Governor’s Fire Service awards recipients

About the Virginia Department of Fire ProgramsThe Virginia Department of Fire Programs provides training, support services, and resources to more than 700 fire and emergency service organizations, and approximately 44,000 fire service personnel in the Commonwealth. Support areas include funding, professional development, research, operational support, technical assistance, and fire prevention inspections through its State Fire Marshal’s Office.

VDFP Regional Schools

VDFP Regional Schools

Wise Regional School – September 10-12, 2021
UVA Wise Campus

Register by September 1! 

  • Courses included:
    • Basic Pump Operations
    • Hazmat Operations
    • Instructor I
    • FF1 & FF2 Train-the-Trainer
    • Surface Water I & II
    • Intro to Tech Rescue – Module II
    • Vehicle Operations I

VDFP’s Aid to Localities Funding Increases to $34 Million for Firefighter Training and PPE in the Commonwealth

VDFP’s Aid to Localities Funding Increases to $34 Million for
Firefighter Training and PPE in the Commonwealth

The Aid to Localities funding program increased by 5.45% for Fiscal Year 2022,
stemming from the Virginia Fire Services Board’s approval and fire-related insurance collections.

RICHMONDJuly 12, 2021 – The Virginia Fire Services Board (VFSB), a Governor-appointed policy body that consists of 15 members from Virginia’s Fire Service, the insurance industry, municipal organizations, and citizen representatives; and the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP) announced today a 5.45% budget increase in the Fire Programs Fund. The increase totals $1.8 million dollars to the Virginia Aid to Localities (ATL) funding program, which bumps up the total aid to $34 million dollars for statewide distribution.

ATL funding comes from the Virginia Fire Programs Fund, which is derived from 1 percent of fire-related insurance coverage collected in the previous calendar year. Approximately 75% of the total fund goes directly to a total of 323 counties, cities, and incorporated towns within the Commonwealth. Twenty-five percent goes to VDFP’s operational budget.

VDFP administers the ATL program in conjunction with the Board.

The current fiscal year (FY22) increases follow pivotal milestones for the Board. In 2020, VFSB pushed to increase ATL funding to support training initiatives, construction of fire training centers, firefighting equipment, and protective gear. The Board’s request was made in response to increasing budget trends in Virginia’s Fire Service. During fiscal year 2021 (FY21), minimum ATL funding levels jumped from $10,000 to $15,000 and $20,000 to $30,000. This fiscal year, 152 Virginia localities will see an increase as they received above the minimum in FY21. The Board approved to allow the minimum funding levels to remain at the FY21 increases.

“The Board saw a trend in the rising costs of insurance, particularly the types of insurance in which the 1% that goes to the Fire Programs Fund is derived – fire, miscellaneous property and casualty, marine, homeowners, and farm owners insurance,” said VFSB Chair Scott Garber. “We made a strategic move in considering these increases to align with the rising costs in keeping fire departments operable.”

“The increased funding allows us to assist Virginia’s Fire Service in growing their departments and personnel. In some cases, ATL funding increases budgetary choices for financially strapped fire departments,” said VDFP Acting Executive Director Garrett Dyer. “Our purpose is to assist where we can to help fire departments meet or exceed their service delivery goals.”

Funding is available annually on July 1, the start of VDFP’s new fiscal year. Qualifying localities are required to submit annual reports and financial documentation to receive an allocation.