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Alexandria Interim Fire Chief Jim Schwartz has put a departmental redeployment on hold that would have replaced fire engines with ambulances.

Former Alexandria Fire Department Chief Corey Smedley announced his AFD Forward plan in September. The plan would have replaced fire engines at Station 204 (900 Second Street) in Old Town North and Station 205 (1210 Cameron Street) in Rosemont. Using 2022 data, AFD found that 72% of their calls for service (out of more than 27,000 incidents) were medical and rescue-related, while just 15% were fire alarm and fire-related.


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Alexandria doesn’t have the resources to adequately cover the public safety aspect of the proposed Potomac Yard arena and entertainment district, sources in the Alexandria Police Department and Sheriff’s Office told ALXnow.

The city currently does not have the resources to cover the addition of the arena and entertainment district at Potomac Yard. The Alexandria Police Department has just over 300 officers, the Sheriff’s Office has around 165 deputies and the Fire Department has about 300 fire and rescue personnel.


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Mutual respect, growth, and an ability to be vulnerable: That’s the kind of relationship retiring Alexandria Fire Chief Corey Smedley wants with his next job, wherever that might be.

Smedley says he wants purpose, not a position, and that he’d like for the right opportunity to find him.


News

Updated at 11:45 a.m. Alexandria Fire Chief Corey Smedley announced his retirement today, and that he will leave the top job on Friday, Jan. 12.

After more than three years at the helm of the department, the 51-year-old Smedley did not say what his next move would be after his retirement. He’s the city’s first permanent Black fire chief, and led the department through the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as negotiated the AFD first-ever collective bargaining agreement with the fire department’s union.


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(Updated at 5:15 p.m.) With emergency medical incidents taking up nearly 75% of calls for service, the Alexandria Fire Department (AFD) is planning to redeploy some of its resources, Fire Chief Corey Smedley tells ALXnow.

Smedley’s AFD Forward plan is still being ironed out, but the gist is that by the first quarter of 2024 the department’s fire engines will get reduced from nine to seven and increasing smaller Emergency Medical transport units staffed by firefighters/emergency medical technicians (EMTs).


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With Independence Day around the corner, the Alexandria Fire Department sent out a reminder this week that fireworks are illegal.

That means sparklers, novelty items and fireworks are prohibited in Alexandria, even though they are legal in neighboring Arlington and Fairfax Counties. Using fireworks in the city is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and/or a $2,500 fine.


News

It’s been nearly two months since the International Association of Firefighters Local 2141 tweeted about staff holdovers or equipment failure. For years the union has alerted the public of major outstanding issues, but their silence isn’t because things are getting better.

Things are just really busy, says union President Captain Josh Turner.


News

With fireworks, cupcakes and music, Alexandria celebrated its 273rd birthday on Sunday, July 10.

Thousands were in attendance for the free party, which also celebrates America’s birthday and was supposed to be held on Saturday (July 9), but was held off due to rain. What resulted was a less crowded event than years past — with performances by Town Crier Ben Fiore-Walker, Poet Laureate Zeina Azzam, and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra (ASO).


News

After concern that his officers were working too much overtime, Alexandria Fire Chief Corey Smedley temporarily put an engine out of service on Sunday night (Dec. 19).

The move was enough to prompt the International Association of Firefighters’ Local 2141 to put out a public safety alert on social media.


News

Understaffing within the Alexandria Fire Department put people and buildings at risk during a fire at Crystal City’s restaurant row on 23rd Street earlier this month, according to two unions representing more than 500 Alexandria and Arlington firefighters, medics and fire marshals.

In a sharply worded press release on Friday, Dec. 10, officials from the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2141 and IAFF Local 2800 wrote that AFD’s inability to fully staff their department led to “multiple close calls” at a fire on Saturday, Dec. 4, in the 500 block of 23rd Street. No one was injured in the blaze, which caused $1.8 million in damages.


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Police say no foul play suspected after body found in Four Mile Run Park — “Police activity in park behind 3900 block of Mt. Vernon has cleared. An adult male subject was found in the park. At this time, it does not appear to be suspicious. This is a Medical Examiner’s case.” [Twitter]

Fire Chief Smedley promotes staff — “In addition to promoting Lt. Sharpe and EMS Lt. Prodoehl, @SmedleyCorey promoted 18 other Lieutenants, EMS Lieutenants, and Captains. We’re celebrating the promotion of about 8% of our department. Congratulations to our new officers and thank you for everything you do!” [Twitter]


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