Tina R. Watkins has been appointed Chief of the Petersburg-Fire Rescue Department. This follows an extensive search and review of 13 extremely qualified candidates for the position.
“Ms. Watkins has a proven track record serving in leadership roles with Richmond Fire and Emergency Services since 1988,” said City Manager Stuart Turille. “She rose to the top as the best qualified candidate for the position of Fire Chief in Petersburg.”
Ms. Watkins started her career as a firefighter. For the past 11 years, she has served as Battalion Chief for Richmond Fire and Emergency Services where she supervises five stations and six fire companies.
She earned a Master's degree in Leadership with an Emphasis in Emergency Management and Executive Fire Leadership and a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Safety and Business Administration. She holds professional certifications through FEMA, the National Fire Academy, and the Virginia State Fire Program.
“Not only does Ms. Watkins have extensive experience in fire administration and field operations, she is a seasoned professional in budget management, enforcement of regulations, policies and procedures development needed to effectively lead Petersburg Fire-Rescue with over 75 members and a $4 million dollar budget,” said Deputy City Manager Tangela Innis.
Ms. Watkins professional development and certifications are numerous and include:
FEMA AFG and Fire Prevention Peer Review Board; Hazardous Materials Technician Level; National Fire Service Staff and Command; NFA Executive Planning (R0506); FEMA Emergency Planning IS-002356 -2012; FEMA Introduction to Continuity of Operations IS-00547a; FEMA Effective Communications IS-00242a; FEMA Introduction to Hazard Mitigation IS-00393a, and many FEMA ICS certificates. Her fire prevention experience includes fire investigations training and fire public information officer services.
“I am committed to providing unparalleled leadership and customer service to the citizens of Petersburg,” said Tina Watkins. “Developing fire safety community programs and supporting on-going professional development and training for all firefighters and rescue personnel is my goal. I will work to secure new fire equipment needed to better protect the City.”
“Petersburg’s appointment of Ms. Watkins is history-making as she becomes the first woman and first African American woman to lead as Fire Chief,” said Mayor Sam Parham.