City of Alexandria, VA
New Fire Officers to Assume Assignments
January 20, 2012
The Alexandria Fire Department has announced the promotions of sixteen employees to fire officer positions. Four Battalion Chiefs and twelve Lieutenants were notified of their promotions over the past week. These individuals will assume new leadership roles within the Department and continue its mission of meeting today’s challenges and those of the future.
In February, four employees of the Alexandria Fire Department will assume their new duties as Fire Battalion Chiefs. Captains Michael Cross, Jeffrey Merryman, John Morehead and Michael Sharpe were promoted through a comprehensive process which included an assessment of their supervision, emergency incident management and writing abilities. In addition, each of the fourteen Fire Captains who competed in the promotional process had to submit a Promotion Information Data Form which summarized their work history; honors, awards and commendations; professional development coursework and certifications; involvement in the five key program areas of the Department. Each candidate was asked to discuss their strengths and areas that needed improvement. Upon conclusion of the assessment process each candidate was interviewed by the Fire Chief.
“These four employees demonstrate their commitment daily to the community and the Department, especially in the areas of community engagement; readiness and infrastructure; health and safety; and accountability.” said Fire Chief Adam Thiel.
The Battalion Chiefs will assume their new assignments by February 4.
Michael Cross is a 26 year member of the Alexandria Fire Department. During his career he has served at seven of the Department’s nine fire stations and the Professional Development Center as a firefighter and company officer. In addition to firefighter certification, Chief Cross is certified in various hazardous materials skills, technical rescue certifications, and fire officer certifications. He has served on various committees including the City of Alexandria’s Ad Hoc Retirement Benefits Advisory Group and the Supervisory Committee for the City of Alexandria’s Employee Credit Union. He has worked on a number of Department projects which include serving as a subject matter expert on the Department’s new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Records Management System committee; the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Special Operations Group; the Ethanol Response Group; the Department’s Equipment Committee; the Potomac Yard Fire Station response area realignment plan; and the Northern Virginia Fire Mutual Aid 20th Due Response update for mutual aid responses.
Chief Cross has also worked with the Department’s Information Technology staff on improvements to the Telestaff software that manages the daily staffing needs of the Department. He also served as the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) Liaison during the 2010 blizzard that affected the City for over a week.
Chief Cross has been assigned as the Special Operations Battalion Chief.
Jeff Merryman is a 26 year member of the Alexandria Fire Department. During his career, Chief Merryman has served at six of the Department’s nine stations as a firefighter and company officer. He also served as a Battalion Aide to the shift Battalion Chiefs; a Lieutenant and instructor at the Department’s Professional Development Center; and the Department’s Supply Supervisor.
Chief Merryman holds a number of certifications in the areas of fire officer; fire instructor; hazardous materials; health and safety; technical rescue; and fire prevention. He has served on the Department’s Hazardous Materials Team and as a Shift Safety Officer until his promotion to Battalion Chief.
Chief Merryman has been involved in a number community outreach programs involving fire prevention and carbon monoxide awareness. He has contributed to a number of Department projects including the Department’s involvement in the development of new employee evaluation criteria and risk management accountability programs.
Chief Merryman has been assigned as Health and Safety Battalion Chief.
John Morehead is a 28 year veteran of the Alexandria Fire Department. During his career, Chief Morehead has served at six of the Department’s nine fire stations as a firefighter and company officer. He has also served in the position of Supply Supervisor and Shift Safety Officer as well as Acting Battalion Chief.
Chief Morehead holds two Associate Degrees from The University of Maryland, University College and the Community College of the Air Force in the Arts and Fire Science, respectively. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland, University College. He holds a number of certifications in hazardous materials, technical rescue, swift water rescue, fire officer and public information officer.
Chief Morehead has been involved in a number of Department committees including Strategic Planning, Communications, Recruitment and Diversity. He is a very involved member of the community and has participated in numerous events such as Meals on Wheels, Thanksgiving Food Drive, Children’s Coat Drive, Back to School Supply Drive, Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a number of Department outreach events.
Chief Morehead was recognized as the Department’s Officer of the Year in 2010. He was also recognized for his service at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 as well as many other letters of recognition and commendation throughout his career.
Chief Morehead has been assigned as the East Battalion Chief on the A Shift.
Michael Sharpe is a 13 year veteran of the Alexandria Fire Department. During his time with the Department, Chief Sharpe has served at six of the Department’s nine fire stations as a firefighter and company officer. He has also served as a recruit instructor at the Fire Department’s Professional Development Center and Station Manager at the Seminary Road Fire Station.
Chief Sharpe has certifications as a fire officer, incident safety officer, health and safety officer, and technical rescue. He has been involved in a number of committees including the Northern Virginia Fire Departments Procedure Writing Group, the Hose and Nozzle Task Force, and Significant Incident Investigation Team. He has also contributed work on documents relating to BRAC-133 and responses to the Norfolk Southern Ethanol Facility.
Chief Sharpe has been involved many community outreach activities including Department open houses, National Night Out, as well as a coordinator of a Fire Safety Camp.
Chief Sharpe is the recipient of the Silver Medal of Valor in 2004 by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce. He was also awarded a Silver Medal of Bravery by the Alexandria Fire Department in 2004 and recognized as a Technical Rescue Team Member of the Year in 2011.
Chief Sharpe has been assigned as East Battalion Chief on the C Shift.
On February 4, twelve employees will be promoted to the rank of Fire Lieutenant. Their experience ranges from five to twenty seven years in the Department. These employees come from diverse backgrounds and are dedicated to serving the community and leading the Department forward in the years to come. Newly promoted Lieutenants are:
For more information, contact Robert B. Rodriguez, Chief Fire Marshal / Community Services Officer, Alexandria Fire Department, at 703.746.5217 or Robert.Rodriguez@alexandriava.gov