Alexandria, VA

Corey Smedley was sworn in as the 30th Alexandria Fire Chief at City Hall last night.

The 48-year-old Smedley, who is the city’s first permanent African American Fire Chief, took the oath of office Tuesday night in a packed house with his family, members of the Alexandria Fire Department and city leaders in attendance.

“There should be no ambiguity as the leader of the organization,” Smedley said. “I will help you succeed, I will help you lead or I will help you find the door.”

Mayor Justin Wilson said that Alexandria is a difficult community to serve.

“We expect a lot out of leaders in this community. We send them through the paces, we ask them as many questions as possible when we demand absolute excellence and they should expect nothing less than excellence,” Wilson said. “We are looking forward to great things. This is an exciting time for our fire department.”

Smedley was born in Washington D.C., raised in Maryland and lives in Chesapeake Beach, Md. He joined the department in 2015 as the deputy fire chief of emergency management and homeland security, after 20 years with the Prince George’s County Fire Department.

Smedley was named to Assistant Fire Chief of Administration last January, and was named the acting fire chief last summer after former Chief Robert Dubé unexpectedly announced his retirement.

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