Harrisonburg Fire Department News & Events

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Recent news articles and news releases from the Harrisonburg Fire Department:


  • December 2 - HFD Announces Changes in Leadership for Public Education Program
    Lieutenant Wanda Willis, Public Education Officer, will officially retire on January 1, 2017. She has worked with HFD since 1988 and started her career with the City as a dispatcher. In 2001, she was assigned as the full-time Fire Prevention Officer in the Fire Prevention Division, which encompasses education, inspections, and investigations. She was promoted in 2006 to her current position.
    Willis has grown the public education programs and outreach efforts in public schools, colleges, and throughout the community to provide information to keep residents safe and prevent injuries.
    “Wanda has truly dedicated her life to keeping everyone in this community safe,” explained Fire Chief Ian Bennett. “Our department is fortunate to have had her leadership and knowledge. She has provided a great foundation for the future of HFD’s public education programs.”
    The transition to fill Willis’ position is expected to be seamless as Erin Stehle has been named as the next Public Education Officer and will begin her new role on January 3.
    Stehle currently serves as the Fire Prevention Education Specialist for HFD. In 2011, she started as an intern with HFD after graduating from James Madison University with a degree in health sciences and a concentration in public health education. Stehle was hired as the Car Seat Technician in 2011 before moving into her current position.
  • November 6 - Don't forget when you change your clocks, to change your smoke alarm batteries!
  • October 9-15 - Fire Prevention Week 2016 at the Valley Mall - 1925 East Market St.  Interactive safety displays, give-a-ways, and lots of information on how to keep your family safe from fire.  Group tours should contact the Fire Department at 540-432-7703.  The display will be open during regular mall hours October 9-15, 2016. 
  • October 3-7International Walk/Bike to School Week. The Harrisonburg Fire Department and Safe Kids of the Central Shenandoah Valley coordinates walk to school events at numerous schools in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County. Some schools take the time to walk around the track before entering so that kids who must ride the bus get exercise too.

  • August 31, 2016 - HFD announces the promotion of two of our own! Deputy Chief Mike Brady will transition from the Deputy Chief of Training to the Deputy Chief of Operations, which serves as the second in command of the department.  Deputy Chief Brady will be responsible for the supervision of fire suppression and its operations and provide assistance to the Fire Chief. In 1995, Deputy Chief Brady started his career with HFD on Engine 23 and was promoted to Lieutenant in 2001 and assigned to Tower 1. In 2007, he was promoted to Captain and then Deputy Chief of Training in 2011. Captain Steve Morris is being promoted to Deputy Chief of Training. Captain Morris currently oversees Station 4 on Rock St. and is assigned to Engine 23. In 1998, Captain Morris started his career with HFD and was promoted to Lieutenant in 2005 and assigned to Engine 25. He was then promoted to Captain in 2010 and assigned to Engine 23. The promotions will be effective on September 11.
  • August 1, 2016 - Chief Shifflett retired after 47 years of service and Chief Ian Bennett has been promoted to the position of fire chief. 
  • July 2016 - Free Pizza/Free Smoke Alarm Event - Wednesday, July 13, 2016! 4:00pm until 8:00pm. Mark your calendars!
  • June 16, 2016 - The new City Mulch Ordinance goes into effect July 1, 2016.  Read more.
  • February 9, 2016 - Fire Chief Announces Retirement: Harrisonburg Fire Department Chief Larry Shifflett to retire August 1, 2016 after serving 47 years at HFD. PDF Press Release[236KB] Press release.
  • February 1, 2016 - Burn Awareness Week is February 1 - 7.  Each year, over 450,000 burn injuries occur in the United States that are serious enough to require medical treatment. Children under five and older adults are at most risk. Please make sure to keep coffee cups, pans on the stove and cords out of the reach of children. Watch them every second while in the bathtub. And be available when a person with limited mobility is taking a bath in case of a fall. 
  • January 20, 2016 - The weather service is calling for a potentially severe winter storm for this upcoming weekend. Before the storm arrives please make sure you have items such as medications, extra batteries, flashlights, and blankets available in case of power outages. Heavy snow and windy conditions will make for treacherous driving and travel may be impossible for certain areas. Make sure your smoke alarms are working properly and listen for updates on local news stations. This storm will impact many, so please be prepared before the storm occurs.