City Manager Dan Hoffman has appointed Winchester Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief (AC) Jon Henschel as the City’s new Chief. AC Henschel was selected following an extensive nation-wide search resulting in 57 applications from candidates across the country. AC Henschel has 30 years of experience with volunteer and career agencies, spending the previous 23 years with the Winchester Fire and Rescue Department.
“Jon has proven his dedication to our community and the fire and rescue profession his entire career,” City Manager Dan Hoffman stated. “I look forward to working with Jon in his new role and have confidence in his ability to continue moving the department forward.”
A.C. Henschel is certified as a Fire Officer IV, Hazmat Technician, and Nationally Registered Paramedic. AC Henschel currently serves as the President of the Lord Fairfax EMS Council and Administrative Coordinator on the Virginia Governor's EMS Advisory Board. He is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer's Program through the National Fire Academy and holds designations as Chief Fire Officer and Chief EMS Officer through the Commission on Professional Credentialing.
"The City has a talented and committed team of fire and rescue personnel, volunteers and partners,” stated AC Henschel, “and I am deeply honored to have been selected as their Chief.”
AC Henschel will begin service as Chief on Monday, May 3 (starting salary: $110,000).
“I’d also like to thank Interim Chief Hadden Culp for the stability, valuable insights and leadership he’s provided over the past ten months,” added Mr. Hoffman. “He has been tremendous to work with and has agreed to stay a little longer to help with some strategic planning initiatives, as well as the transition.”
The Winchester Fire and Rescue Department is a combination system (volunteer and career personnel) and has 73 employees, 70 of which are career firefighter/EMTs or Paramedics. The Department responded to approximately 5,800 incidents in 2020 with an average response time of less than five minutes for emergencies. The Department also received the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Gold Plus Award for their outstanding care of cardiac arrest patients.