Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fire Chief To Retire, Turn Off Blackberry

From HoCo Gov PR:

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman announced today that Chief Joseph Herr will be retiring as head of the County Department of Fire and Rescue Services on March 1, 2009. Herr has served as the head of this agency since December 2000. “I have been a firefighter for 38 years, and it’s a career I am quite proud of,” said Chief Herr. “I am honored to have had the privilege to serve the citizens of Howard County as Chief these past eight years and to lead the fine men and women of this department.”

“You would be hard pressed to find a more decent, honest public servant than Joe Herr,” said County Executive Ulman. “Whether it was fighting fires, responding to medical emergencies, or coordinating emergency preparedness, Joe has played a big part in bringing this department into the 21st century.”

Chief Herr began his career as a firefighter in 1971 with the Beltsville (Md.) Volunteer Fire Department. He went on to work in the District of Columbia’s Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department for 26 years. During his career Herr has literally worked his way up; he has served as a firefighter, a Sergeant, a Lieutenant, a Captain, a Battalion Chief, a Deputy Chief, an Assistant Chief, and finally as the Fire Chief. He holds a degree from the University of Maryland, a Masters from Johns Hopkins University, and has completed several safety and management courses, including the prestigious Senior Executive Fellowship from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Chief Herr has been actively involved in regional domestic preparedness issues through the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI.)

“Joe has agreed to stay on as Chief for the next month, and I have already asked for his input on finding the right person to lead us in the future,” said County Executive Ulman.

Chief Herr added, “I am looking forward to sleeping without an emergency radio and a BlackBerry on my nightstand.”

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