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Chief Ronnie Few
Resignation Letter, with Reply from Mayor Anthony Williams
May 21, 2002




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Resignation Letter Fire Department press release
Reply from Mayor Anthony Williams



May 21, 2002

The Honorable Anthony A. Williams
C/o Mr. Kelvin Robinson
Office of the Mayor
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Suite 509
Washington, DC 20004

Dear Mayor Williams:

As a follow-up to our detailed meeting on May 20`h, please accept this letter as my formal notice of resignation from the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department as Fire/EMS Chief effective July 31, 2002. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Ronnie Few
Fire/EMS Chief

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May 29, 2002
CONTACT: PIO 202.673.3331

Statement by Ronnie Few, Chief, D.C. Fire and EMS Department

As Chief of the D.C. Fire and EMS Department for the past two years, I am announcing my resignation, effective July 31, 2002. I have been a dedicated, passionate, and effective District official. DCFFMS has benefited enormously from my expenise in all areas. I have provided strategic, operational, and communication leadership for a department that was long overdue for improvements.

Serving as the Fire Chief of the nation's capital during the tragic events of September 11 and the anthrax attack on the city, my leadership reinforced the city's security in these states of emergencies. I oversaw the development of a new HazMat unit, improved response times, reinstated a fifth man on fire trucks, purchased protective equipment for EMS personnel, new firefighter equipment, secured construction of the new fire-training academy, established community-focused programs, filled 140 personnel positions, added new ambulances and fire apparatus and secured funding for two new fire cadet programs. I am especially proud of the fire cadet program in that it has afforded underserved minority youth career opportunities in fire service. Once cadets complete the program, they are guaranteed positions in the department.

I look forward to my future and I am committed to making a difference in the lives of others.

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May 21, 2002

Ronnie Few
Chief, District of Columbia
Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department
1923 Vermont Avenue
Washington, DC 20001

Dear Chief Few:

It is with great admiration for the work that you and the firefighters and emergency medical service workers have done over the past two years that I accept your resignation as chief. The leadership you provided during your tenure has advanced the agenda of the Department and consequently left our city a safer place to live, work, and visit.

Serving as the Fire Chief of the nation's capital during the tragic events of September 11 and the ensuing period puts you in a special place in the history of first responders in this country. You and the women and men of the Department displayed unmatched courage in responding to a national tragedy. Since that time, you have been an asset in developing a Department to meet the needs of a new era. Having overseen the development of a new HAZMAT unit, responding to the possible threat of anthrax, to being an active member of the District of Columbia's Emergency Preparedness Council, you have been a leader in unforgiving times.

In spite of the new demands upon the Department since September 11, you have not lost sight of the core mission of the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Service Department (DCFEMS). During your tenure, response times to critical medical calls for service have been reduced; you oversaw the restoration of the "fifth person" program to ensure the safety of responders to fire scenes; you ushered through the construction of a new fire-training academy; and revamped a Fire Cadet program to help ensure the long-term viability of the Department. You also successfully leveraged the resources of the private sector to help accomplish the goals of the Department through your Hotel Insignia Award program and the Corporate Friends to the Fire Department, both of which are designed to reduce the incidence of fire in the city, saving lives and property.

The residents of this city have benefited from the many community-focused programs that you have brought to the District of Columbia. The Department has extended beyond its core mission and embraced the community with many of your new programs. From the Department's invaluable participation in the Neighborhood Services Initiative to create cleaner, healthier neighborhoods, to the Block-A-Day Drill program to deliver fire safety information to communities, to the implementation of programs focusing on monitoring and protecting the safety of the elderly, such as the "Are You Okay" program and the Senior Fire Warden Program, you have made the resources of this Department a tool for creating better neighborhoods for our residents.

As Mayor, I understand well the many challenges of leading change, as well as the tremendously critical environment in which we must often do so. Despite this; you have done a commendable job of paving the road for continued progress in making the DCFEMS a model for the nation. The men and women of the District of Columbia Fire and Emergency Medical Services and the residents of this city thank you for your public service. I too offer my thanks to you for your service to our city and wish you tremendous success in your future endeavors.

Anthony A. Williams

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