Dan Eggleston, Fire Rescue Chief
Where were you born (and raised, if different)?
I was born in Richmond, Virginia and grew up in Chesterfield County.
When and why did you move to the Charlottesville/Albemarle area?
I was always drawn to the Charlottesville/Albemarle area for the many outdoor opportunities and the various attractions the area has to offer. I first found out about the Fire Rescue Chief position while attending the Senior Executive Institute at the University in 2001, so I jumped at the chance to apply. One thing led to another, and I accepted the job and moved to the area in 2002.
What neighborhood do you live in now?
I was fortunate to meet a local volunteer fire fighter and realtor, D.B. Sandridge, soon after moving to Albemarle and D.B. convinced me to move to wonderful Crozet . Actually, it was the ride out 250 west heading towards Crozet – the view sold me right away.
What is your alma mater and when did you graduate?
I received my undergraduate degree in Business from Averett University and graduate degree in emergency management from the University of Richmond.
What were you doing before coming to Albemarle?
I was the Fire Rescue Chief in Franklin, VA. In Franklin, I had the opportunity to work with a great group of people (the Mayor is a UVa graduate) all of which absolutely loved their community.
Your job title is Fire Rescue Chief- what, in your own words, would you say you do?
In broad terms, it’s my responsibility to ensure that our fire rescue system provides the highest quality services to protect and preserve the lives, property, and environment of our community.
What is the best part of your job? The most difficult part?
Our fire rescue system is large scale, diverse, and complex involving many partners and interests. The most difficult part of my job is to work in a collaborative environment to provide focus on issues that are important to the delivery of fire rescue services.
The best part of my job is to work with a group of committed and innovative individuals – people that are intrinsically motivated to accomplish our mission.
How does your job most directly impact the average person?
Fire Rescue services certainly has an impact on our community’s quality of life. There are a number of fire rescue initiatives that focus on preventing the emergency from happening in the first place. However, should a person need our services, we want to make sure they have the confidence they will receive the best service in the most expedited manner.
What is the most interesting project or work experience that you’ve had while with Fire Rescue?
One of the most challenging projects in my career was the recovery from the flooding caused by hurricane Floyd in 1999. A significant number of residents, public buildings, and downtown businesses were impacted from the Blackwater River floodwaters. Most disasters have two waves – the threat to life and property from the initial event and then the long-term economic impact to the community after the event. For Franklin, the long-term economic impact was the most threatening.
Much of the City’s long-term health relied on the city leaders’ ability to coordinate state and federal aid while re-establishing city services that were impacted from the flood. I was proud to be part of the city leadership and the community as we recovered, and the process taught me many lessons about the potential of community involvement and the sense of pride and ownership.
What is a little known fact about you?
Public safety runs deep in my ancestry. The Egglestons were involved in public safety in James City County in 1775.
What do you do outside of work hours – hobbies, etc?