Chief Edward M. Brazle
Chief Brazle joined Virginia Beach EMS as a volunteer with the Kempsville Volunteer Rescue Squad in 1990 while on active duty as a naval officer. He served in a number of positions in the squad, including Captain and President. After leaving the Navy in 1996, he was hired as the Regulation and Enforcement Coordinator, later advancing to the Division Chief level. He completed tours as Chief of the Operations, Support Services, and Administration Divisions. Prior to being appointed as Chief of the Department in June of 2016, he held a leading role in initiatives including, creation of the CQI Program, integration of career and volunteer medics, deployment of AEDs on police cars, ALS capability on fire engines, new station construction and the Air Medical Program. He was named to the City of Virginia Beach Employee Hall of Fame in 2013.
He participates on a number of committees at the local, regional and state level. He holds a bachelor’s in civil engineering from the University of Illinois and a master’s in public administration from Troy State University.
Medical Director Stewart Martin, M.D.
Dr. Martin was named Operational Medical Director for the City of Virginia Beach EMS on Dec. 1, 1998. Dr. Martin, who hails from Boston, received his four-year degree from Virginia Tech. He then attended medical school and received his Medical Doctorate from Eastern Virginia Medical School. He successfully fulfilled his residency requirements in Emergency Medicine at Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. Dr. Martin is board certified in Emergency Medicine and Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine. He practices Emergency Medicine with the Emergency Physicians of Tidewater, as well as Hyperbaric Medicine at the Sentara Leigh Hyperbaric Medicine department. Dr. Martin is involved in the education, training, and supervision of EMS providers. He currently serves as the Tidewater EMS Regional Medical Director, Chairman of the Medical Direction Committee, and President of the TEMS Board of Directors. In addition, he is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Eastern Virginia Medical School. He is a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, National Association of EMS Physicians, National Association of EMS Educators, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society, Medical Society of Virginia, and the Medical Society of Virginia Beach.
Deputy Chief Joseph L. Hundley
Deputy Chief Joey Hundley is a life member of the Plaza Volunteer Rescue Squad where he was active from 1996 through 2007. During that time, he was released to general supervision as a Paramedic and served in a number of roles, including Squad Commander, Special Operations Captain, and volunteer Brigade Chief. He left the area in 2007 due to active duty Navy commitments, but continued to be involved in various public safety activities and training after leaving Virginia Beach, including serving as a volunteer EMT and firefighter. In 2016, Deputy Chief Hundley retired from the Navy after 26 years of service that included tours as submarine Chief of the Boat and Command Master Chief.
After leaving the Navy, he initially directed EMS education programs before being assigned as the Director of Operations of American Ambulance Service, Inc. In this role, he was actively involved with managing an operation running 30,000 calls annually across 19 localities. He served on a number of strategic committees and was honored with the Paul Winfield Smith EMS Educator Award.
He returned to Virginia Beach EMS in January 2019 assuming the role of Deputy Chief, where he began overseeing the Support Services Branch. Chief Hundley added oversight of the Operations Branch in Dec. 2021 and currently oversees the Field Operations Branch. Deputy Chief Hundley holds a bachelor’s in emergency medical services management from Hampton University and a master’s in emergency and disaster management from American Military University.
Deputy Chief Matthew Lindewirth, MSEMS, NRP
Deputy Chief Lindewirth joined Virginia Beach EMS in 2022 with 25 years of experience as a paramedic. The Missouri native has extensive emergency prehospital care experience, both as a career provider and as a volunteer.
Chief Lindewirth served nearly two decades in his hometown of St. Charles County, MO as a professional career paramedic and also served as a volunteer firefighter/paramedic for five years. He later moved into leadership roles, serving as the EMS Chief for Berkley County, SC and later Cole County, MO. Chief Lindewirth also has experience with Urban Search & Rescue (USAR), serving as a certified heavy rescue technician and public information officer (PIO).
Aside from his public safety experience, Chief Lindewirth currently serves as a Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy Reserves. He formerly served as an enlisted non-commissioned officer (NCO) in both the Navy and Air Force.
Chief Lindewirth holds a master’s of science in emergency medical services from Creighton University, a bachelor’s of science in political science from Troy University and an associate’s degree of applied science in aviation operations from the Community College of the Air Force.
As Deputy Chief, Lindewirth oversees the Administrative and Support Services branch, which includes the Professional Development, Professional Standards, Volunteer Services and Administrative Services divisions.
Division Chief John Bianco
Division Chief Bianco started with Virginia Beach EMS as a volunteer trainee at Princess Anne Courthouse Volunteer Rescue Squad in 1985 and joined Kempsville Volunteer Rescue Squad in 1990 as a Paramedic and Heavy and Tactical Rescue Technician. He began his EMS career with the Emergency Medical Service Institute in Pittsburgh providing comprehensive EMS support across 10 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. He then moved to central Pennsylvania and expanded EMS programing as a faculty and supervisor with Penn State. Division Chief Bianco rejoined Virginia Beach EMS in 2004 and was promoted to Division Chief in 2005.
He has lead every division within VBEMS during his tenure and has lead the development of sustained programs that have improved the system and its performance. Chief Bianco is certified as a Nationally Registered Paramedic, Education Coordinator and is currently on the adjunct faculty with Tidewater Community College. He holds the designation of Chief Medical Officer through the Center for Public Safety Excellence. He continues to contribute as training center faculty with the American Heart Association and instructor with the Virginia Office of EMS and Virginia Department of Emergency Management along with other public safety and health organizations. Chief Bianco leads recruitment and retention efforts, as well as career and volunteer human resource matters.
Division Chief Brett Johnson
Division Chief Johnson is a Virginia Beach native and began her career with Virginia Beach EMS in 2006 as a volunteer with Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad. While attending Virginia Tech, Chief Johnson continued volunteering her time with Rescue 14 and served in various leadership positions within the squad. Upon graduation in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree, Chief Johnson continued her studies and became a certified Paramedic and earned an associate degree in EMS. In March of 2013, Chief Johnson was hired as a career Paramedic with the Department of EMS and was promoted to Captain in March 2017.
During her time as a Captain, she served in the Operations Division and oversaw numerous programs and special events. Division Chief Johnson was promoted to Brigade Chief in June 2020 where she supervised C-Shift and D-Shift career personnel before moving to the role of Emergency Manager and Special Event Coordinator for the Department. Brett is a member of the Virginia Beach Incident Management Team (VBIMT) and currently is an adjunct instructor at Texas A&M. In December 2021, she graduated from Arizona State University with her master’s degree in emergency management and homeland security. As Division Chief, Chief Johnson will lead 2 operational shifts while overseeing emergency management, special events, logistics and procurement.
Division Chief Jeffrey Meyer
Division Chief Meyer is a Paramedic with over 28 years of EMS experience. He has served in a wide range of communities and EMS systems. His EMS career started in 1993, as a volunteer paramedic and firefighter with Abingdon Fire Company (Harford County, Maryland). Ten years later, he moved to Wilmington, North Carolina and served as a Special Operation Paramedic and coordinated the EMS Beach Response Program with New Hanover Regional EMS while working part-time as an ocean lifeguard. In 2006, he moved to Virginia and became the Regional EMS Council Director for the Peninsulas EMS Council while volunteering with York County Fire and Life Safety. For the past 10 years, he has been the EMS Manager for Portsmouth Fire Rescue and Emergency Services.
Additionally, since 2007, Jeff has been a member of VA-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT), and has recently been appointed to the Incident Management Team (IMT) for the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS).
Jeff has an extensive educational background with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Health Care Management. He has completed an EMS Fellowship focusing on EMS System Design and has recently been accepted into the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program.
Chief Meyer joined the Virginia Beach EMS in August 2021 as the Brigade Chief of training before his promotion in July 2022. Chief Meyer oversees EMS training programs and continuous quality improvement.
Division Chief Bruce Nedelka
Division Chief Nedelka leads the Educational Services Division, including training, volunteer applicant onboarding and volunteer human resources. Division Chief Nedelka is a Nationally Registered and Virginia certified Paramedic, and also one of approximately 110 professionals in the country credentialed as a Certified Emergency Medical Services Officer (CEMSO). While attending college at Fordham University, Chief Nedelka started an all-volunteer on-campus emergency medical response service and also became co-founder of the Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps on Long Island., both of which are still going strong today. Upon moving to Virginia Beach, he joined the Davis Corner Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad and held leadership positions including Chief during his 22 years there until hired as an Instruction Supervisor in 2002. He is a recipient of the R.C. Dailey Award for Excellence in EMS and the Bruce W. Edwards Award for Outstanding EMS Administrator.
Since his promotion to Division Chief, he has been in charge of Administration, Regulation Enforcement, and Training. He helped to create the Virginia Office of Emergency Medical Services “Keeping the Best” series and has developed successful innovative recruitment campaigns locally and regionally. Chief Nedelka has been published in JEMS Magazine and is the Public Information Officer for the department, providing frequent on-camera interviews and comments on various topics to local and national media.
Chief Nedelka currently oversees two operational shifts and special operations teams, including Marine Medics and the Sandbridge Lifeguard program.
Assistant Chief Ellen McBride
Assistant Chief McBride has served as a member of the Virginia Beach EMS system for over 15 years as a member of the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad; she has previously served in numerous squad officer positions, including Captain of Administration and Squad Commander (2014-2015). Assistant Chief McBride has received numerous awards during her tenure with the Department of EMS, including the Cape Henry Rotary Club Public Safety Volunteer of the Year (2013), Department of EMS Outstanding EMS Administrator (2013), and being recognized by Coastal Virginia magazine as one of their “Ten Leading Ladies” (2014). In addition, she has served the Department of EMS as a member of the BLS Training Institute Advisory Board, and has assisted with numerous member recognition and volunteer recruitment & retention initiatives. Assistant Chief McBride is assigned to Headquarters working on special projects.
Assistant Chief Bill Walker
Assistant Chief Walker has been an active member of Virginia Beach EMS for over twenty years and is certified as an Advanced EMT. During his tenure, Assistant Chief Walker has served as both the President and Squad Commander of the Plaza Volunteer Rescue Squad, as well as a Field Supervisor with the Department of EMS since 2004. Assistant Chief Walker has received many awards from the Department of EMS over the years and most recently served as an interim Brigade Chief. His portfolio includes Rescue 9, Rescue 14 and Rescue 16, and he will serve as the volunteer chief liaison to the Marine Rescue Team.