Executive and Senior Leadership Team

Interim Chief Bruce Nedelka

Interim 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.

Chief Nedelka was hired by the Department of EMS in 2016 as Division Chief and was named Interim Chief in Dec. 2022.

Contact Interim Chief Bruce Nedelka here.

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.

Acting Deputy Chief John Bianco

Acting Deputy 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.

As Acting Deputy Chief, Chief Bianco leads the Support Services branch.

Contact Acting Deputy Chief John Bianco here.

Acting Deputy Chief Brett Johnson

Acting Deputy 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 Acting Deputy Chief, Chief Johnson leads the Operations branch.

Contact Acting Deputy Chief Brett Johnson here.

Acting Division Chief Christi Budy

Acting Division Chief Budy began her career in EMS as a student at Radford University. Prior to graduating with a bachelor’s of science in nursing, Chief Budy joined the Kempsville Volunteer Rescue Squad in 1992. Chief Budy was hired by VB Rescue – EMS in 2004 as a Paramedic. As a Captain and a Brigade Chief, she has led the Continuous Quality Improvement team, served as a shift supervisor and represented VB Rescue – EMS on various local and regional committees.

As Acting Division Chief, Chief Budy leads the Administrative Services division.

Please check back soon for a complete biography.

Contact Acting Division Chief Christi Budy here.



Acting Division Chief Rob Gramkowski

Acting Division Chief Gramkowski joined the Chesapeake Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad as an EMT in 2006 after earning his certification through VB Rescue – EMS. At Chesapeake Beach, Chief Gramkowski held positions as maintenance sergeant and assistant squad commander. After working as a paramedic at several other towns and cities in Virginia including Waverly and Williamsburg, he joined VB Rescue – EMS as a career paramedic in 2017. He was elevated to Captain in 2020 and Brigade Chief in 2021, serving as the D-Shift Commander. Chief Gramkowski also serves on the Virginia Beach Incident Management Team (IMT) and has helped manage responses to several hurricanes, winter storms and the 2019 Something in the Water music Festival. Chief Gramkowski is also a member of the Hampton Roads Incident Management Team.

As Acting Division Chief, Chief Gramkowski co-leads the Field Services division.

Contact Acting Division Chief Rob Gramkowski here.


Acting Division Chief Tyler Kerr

Acting Division Chief Kerr has served VB Rescue since 2005, both as a volunteer and career provider. Most recently, Chief Kerr led A-Shift operational staff and oversaw technology services for VB Rescue members.

As Acting Division Chief, Kerr co-leads the Field Services Division.

Please check back soon for a complete biography.

Contact Acting Division Chief Tyler Kerr here.


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. 

Contact Division Chief Jeff Meyer here.

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 Aaron Stauffenberg

Assistant Chief Stauffenberg joined the VB Rescue system in 2015, volunteering with the Ocean Park Volunteer Rescue Squad as an EMT. As a member of Ocean Park, Stauffenberg spent two years as a scheduling Lieutenant and two years as Assistant Squad Commander. In 2019, Stauffenberg was named Squad Commander of Ocean Park.

Chief Stauffenberg is a former member of the Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) team and of the Volunteer Field Supervisor Aide program. He is currently enrolled in VB Rescue – EMS’ Advanced EMT Academy 1.

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.