MCFRS News Release

Interim Fire Chief Named

Nationwide Search to Choose Permanent Fire Chief

County Executive Isiah Leggett has selected Division Chief Richard Bowers as Interim Fire Chief effective November 1, 2008.  County Fire Chief Tom Carr recently announced that he will retire and has accepted a job as Fire Chief in the City of Charleston, South Carolina.  Chief Carr will retire from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service at the end of October 2008.

Interim Fire Chief Richard Bowers had most recently been appointed Division Chief for Operations and has over 32 years fire and rescue service experience. Prior to his assignment in Operations, the Service’s largest Division, he served as Division Chief for Wellness, Safety and Training for over 3 years and before that was an Assistant Chief for several years. He attended recruit class in 1977, and finished first in the class.  He graduated from the University of Maryland and is currently working on his Masters Degree.  His wife and he currently reside in Frederick and they have two grown daughters.

The permanent Fire Chief will be selected through a national search process.  In the meantime Chief Carr and Chief Bower’s will work on the transition.

An executive recruitment group will be contracted by Montgomery County to assist with the development of qualified persons while at the same time the search process is expected to include community focus groups to highlight the qualities residents seek in a new Fire Chief.  The selection process is expected to conclude with a thorough interview with each of the top final candidates by a community review panel.  The County Executive will make the final selection which must be approved by the County Council.  The entire process is expected to take several months.

The Montgomery County (MD) Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS), an Accredited Agency, is a full spectrum life safety agency protecting about 500 square miles and nearly 1 million people who live and work in Maryland’s most populous jurisdiction.  Under the direction of County Fire Chief the MCFRS is a combination system (career/volunteer) in the suburban Washington, D.C. area, operating 34 community-based fire and rescue stations and several other support facilities with an annual budget of about $195 million dollars. The MCFRS annually handles about 100,000 emergency calls for service and is staffed by nearly 1300 career uniformed personnel and professional civilian staff and an equal number of volunteers, nearly half of whom are actively involved in emergency response.