Winchester Fire and Rescue Chief to Retire after 35 Years of Service
City of Winchester Fire and Rescue Chief Frank Wright has announced his retirement effective June 1, 2010. Wright stated, “I have had a great career and am very thankful to the Winchester community for their support of the Fire and Rescue Department and me. I have been blessed to work with so many fine people both career and volunteer.”
Mayor Elizabeth Minor said, “Frank has been a valuable member of the City's staff and he will be very hard to replace. He has always understood the financial indicators and revenue streams of the City and has organized his department around those to do the best with what he’s given. I have truly enjoyed working with him for so many years.”
City Manager Jim O’Connor, who accepted Wright’s retirement with great reservation, stated that Chief Wright “is very dedicated and motivated. He can always be counted on to meet his obligations. His focus is on providing quality service to all people who have interactions with Fire and Rescue. He’s a good communicator whether with staff, volunteer personnel, or the public.”
Wright’s accomplishments during his outstanding 35 year career are many including:
- Jointly developed and implemented a Fire Training Academy with Frederick County graduating its charter class during June 2002;
- Managed the Fee for Service program resulting in revenue for the city and volunteer stations as well as increased career personnel;
- Implemented technological efficiencies for station members; and
- Responsible for the creation and implementation of a mutual aid agreement and automatic aid agreement with Frederick County.
Wright’s career began as a volunteer for Winchester in 1972 at Shawnee Volunteer Fire Company while still attending Handley High School. Following graduation from John Handley High School, Wright joined the City Police Department in 1974 as a dispatcher. He transferred to Fire Department in July 1975 and moved up through the ranks of Firefighter, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and Deputy Chief. Wright was appointed Fire and Rescue Chief in October 2005. He also serves as the Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management.
Wright has also been certified as an Emergency Medical Technician, Hazardous Materials Technician, Emergency Management Deputy Coordinator, and Officer IV through the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP). He serves as an Adjunct Instructor/Instructor III through the VDFP. He has taken numerous courses at Lord Fairfax Community College and has a Certificate in Fire Science. He is a 2001 Charter graduate of the City’s EXCELL Leadership Academy.
A native of the Winchester community, Frank married his high school sweetheart Sharon Warren in 1976. The couple has two married children, a daughter Kelley and her husband Mark (Barnett) and a son Kevin and his wife Sarah (Rusk) and three grandchildren Avery Wright (2 years), Dalton Wright (2 months), and Nolan Barnett (22 months).
Plans for recruiting his replacement have not been finalized.
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