EXCLUSIVE: New Petersburg fire chief shares his vision for the city

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — The City of Petersburg has a new fire chief to replace now retired chief TC Hairston.

And while there isn’t much that everyone agrees on right now in the cash-strapped city, it seems everyone is praising the hiring of new Chief Dennis Rubin.

“We’re excited with Chief Rubin,” Dan Macaluso, spokesperson for the Petersburg Professional Fire Association, told 8News. “He has a good reputation, he’s well known throughout the whole country as a fire chief.”

Chief Rubin worked as a chief in Washington D.C., Atlanta, and most recently in Wisconsin. So what drew him all the way back to small town Petersburg? His time spent working with the fire department in Chesterfield showed him just how special the area is.

Tuesday night, Rubin spoke exclusively to 8News Tri-Cities Reporter Parker Slaybaugh about his vision for the city.

“I found the area to simply be outstanding,” he said. “I know that the Petersburg Fire Department will be a very nice challenge.”

Rubin says he will focus on community relations, as well as government relations. He wants to ensure City Hall knows the needs of the fire department. Chief Rubin also says making sure his guys have working gear is a priority.

“We will focus on providing the correct resources to the fire department members within the resources that the city has, but always with an eye to make sure we meet the law and minimum requirements and we’ll take a look at grants and as many other opportunities that are out there for the financial support to do our job,” Rubin explained.

Chief Rubin added that the morale of his employees will also be very important.

“We will focus on having a place of employment that everyone will enjoy while communicating what we’re doing,” Rubin said. “We will make sure that everyone has input and will help guide the organization and will hopefully be able, in a significant way to reward good behavior and good work.”

Rubin’s first day on the job will be Monday, May 15.

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