BERRYVILLE, Va. - After reviewing candidates from 14 states, Clarke County has named their first ever Director of Fire and Emergency Medical Services.
"I understand Clarke County did a national search and had a lot of great candidates for the position,” said Chief Allen Bladwin of the Winchester Fire Department. “I think Frank is more than qualified. He's a great leader. He's a great chief officer."
"I’m really excited about it. It's really good that the Clarke County government has taken a forward step into preserving the volunteers,” said Allen “Frank” Davis, Jr., the county’s new director.
Davis has 37 years of experience as a volunteer firefighter, ten of which were served as Mount Weather's volunteer fire chief. That experience should serve him well when it comes to working with other local agencies.
"We work with Clarke County on a daily basis,” said Baldwin, when discussing how important it is to get along with localities.
"I know all the tools are there to make [Clarke County} successful, and I want to be part of that. That's my next goal in life: to help the volunteers become successful, and have a good department here in Clarke County,” Davis said with a grin.
Over the next two years, Davis will establish a strategic county fire and EMS plan and develop performance metrics for each of Clarke’s three volunteer departments; Boyce, Blue Ridge and John Enders.
"I would nothing better than to have things up and running [well, by then, and] to see the volunteers take ownership of the system, and maybe have this as a part time job for someone," said Davis.
The need for a full-time fire and EMS director was realized after a committee spent six months evaluating Clarke’s fire and rescue services.
"I’m really looking forward to working here in Clarke County, and working with the people. I've been here for ten years, so I consider this my second home,” said Davis. “I think they've taken all the positive steps, all the right steps to make this very successful, and I want to be part of that."
Davis will assume his position on September 7, 2014 but said he's already been busy getting a head start on the job.