Dear fellow members,
Several months ago when I was appointed interim Chief, I pledged to review all aspects of the Department of EMS to see where we could do things more effectively. In the ensuing months, we’ve had a number of key personnel and structural changes. Your two new Deputy Chiefs are in place, and I anticipate filling the two vacant Division Chief billets by September. We also have vacancies within the volunteer officer force to consider.
I believe this is the ideal time to make changes to help us transform our organizational structure. After careful review and lots of discussions, the EMS leadership team has developed a structure that will allow us to more effectively operate the department. The basic template for this new structure is attached. We’ll transition into it incrementally, with a full reset completed once all our vacant positions are filled. For the most part, we expect this evolution to be transparent in the field. Those directly impacted will receive more detailed briefings from the appropriate supervisors.
A critical element of the change is the reclassification of our volunteer chiefs. We are moving from the traditional Brigade Chief/Division Chief model to something that offers greater access and support to our rescue squads. Effective August 1st, four Assistant Chief billets will be created. Each will lead two or three rescue squads and will report directly to a Deputy Chief. The special operations teams will be shifted to the appropriate senior officer within the Operations or Support branches of the department. This will allow the Assistant Chiefs to focus on the rescue squads with strong attention at the Deputy Chief level. Watch for another email soon regarding the duties and selection process of these officers.
I appreciate everyone’s support and inputs over the past few months. These changes are a direct result of what we’ve heard from you. I’m very excited about the ongoing transformation and look forward to sharing more details with you soon.
Ed Brazle, Chief
Virginia Beach Department of EMS