New fire chief named at Charlotte Fire Department

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A new fire chief has been named at the Charlotte Fire Department.

Reginald T. Johnson will assume the role as the new fire chief at the department, and his first day on the job is April 30.

He will replace interim fire Chief Howard "Pete" Key, who was selected to lead the fire department in Sept. 2017 after former CFD Chief Jon Hannan retired.

City Manager Marcus D. Jones said that Johnson is "a progressive, community-focused leader with more than 24 years of experience in fire and emergency management service."

"Reggie's passion for the fire service is second only to his passion for people," Jones said. "He is an excellent communicator with a talent for relationship building that will be instrumental in continuing Charlotte Fire Department's track record of success."

Jones and a team of executive Charlotte leaders conducted a nationwide search to find the next chief of the Charlotte Fire Department.

Charlotte City Manager Marcus Jones and the Charlotte Fire Department welcomed Johnson Friday as he was introduced.

Johnson's leadership skills, upstanding moral character and experience working with people of diverse backgrounds established him as the right candidate, Jones said.

Johnson currently serves as assistant fire chief for operations where he oversees the more than 1,300 uniformed officers at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department in Fairfax, Virginia.

He has held an executive leadership position in the department for more than six years, including roles as deputy fire chief and battalion chief.

In addition to his exceptional leadership skills, Johnson reportedly has a reputation in Fairfax County as an approachable, open-minded professional who is committed to public service and improving the community, the press release said.

"I am honored, blessed and humbled to serve as Charlotte's next fire chief," Johnson said. "I look forward to meeting the men and women who have cemented Charlotte Fire Department as a leader in fire service and emergency management. Together, I know we can accomplish great things."

The release says that Johnson's duties as fire chief will include:

  • Providing oversight and leadership for day-to-day operational activities of an organization with more than 1,000 uniformed personnel and more than 100 non-sworn personnel.
  • Advising all member agencies on fire, disaster management and Emergency Management Services (EMS) practices.
  • Establishing and maintaining a positive employee-labor relations climate.
  • Properly and efficiently using both human and financial resources in a department with an operations budget of $124 million.
  • Developing trusted, positive relationships across the organization through a strong sense of character, exceptional listening skills and a commitment to providing training and education equitably for all staff.

Johnson is a member of several professional groups and is active in non-profit community organizations.

He holds bachelor and master of science degrees, with a focus on emergency management, from the University of Maryland University College.

Johnson and his wife Angie have an adult son and daughter, and they look forward to making Charlotte their home.

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