Alexandria, Va. Fire Chief Adam K. Thiel is resigning to accept an appointment by Governor Terence McAuliffe.
Thiel was named Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
In a three paragraph e-mail to his firefighters Friday afternoon, Thiel said: "I'm writing with very mixed emotions to announce my resignation as Alexandria's fire chief. I have been appointed by Governor McAuliffe as a Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security and will be starting work in Richmond soon. I'll have a lot more to say over the next couple weeks, but I wanted to let you all know as soon as possible."
Thiel was part of McAuliffe's transition team after the election this past November.
“Chief Thiel has served Alexandria with distinction,” City Manager Young said in the release.. “His strong leadership, strategic vision, and passionate commitment to our community have left an indelible mark on our City and ensure our continued safety. He has been a vital part of our team, and he will be missed.”
Thiel, who was appointed chief in 2007, said: "It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this amazing City and the committed members of our Alexandria Fire Department family. I know the Department will continue moving forward with dedication to our community, our profession, and each other."
Among his accomplishments during his tenure include the opening of Fire Station 209 in Potomac Yard, construction of Station 210 on Eisenhower Avenue, complete replacement of the City’s front-line fleet of fire apparatus and EMS units, and securing funding for a new fire boat.
Under his leadership, the department increased staffing on fire suppression units, provided a dedicated health and safety officer on each shift, and provided dedicated fire and EMS field training officers. Thiel also served as the City's operations section chief for several presidentially-declared disasters, and served alongside Alexandria Fire Department members and other City staff in the aftermath of Paramedic Joshua Weissman's tragic line-of-duty-death in February 2011.