What's old is new for fire and rescue chief

Robert Dubé

Robert Dubé, who was Louisa County's fire and emergency services chief from 2008 to 2011, accepted an offer from the board of supervisors to fill the position once again.

Dubé will start on a full-time basis as chief in September, replacing Keith Greene, who was Dubé's successor in 2011 and retired in July.

After two years as Louisa County administrator, Dubé left in 2013 to be fire chief in Alexandria and later, deputy director for the Virginia Department of Fire Programs. He returned to the area in 2019 and was most recently a citizen liaison to the Management Oversight Group, made up of representatives of 11 volunteer fire and rescue departments in the county.

More than 30 people applied for the chief's position, according to a statement by board of supervisors Chairman Bob Babyok (Green Springs District).

“The leadership capabilities and experience that Robert brings to the position would be desirable in any locality, regardless of size or complexity,” said Duane Adams, Mineral District supervisor and board liaison to the MOG. “We’re tremendously fortunate to have someone with those qualities and strong ties to our community.”

The board's vote to approve Dubé was 5-1, with Supervisor Willie Gentry (Cuckoo District) out of the room at the time of the vote.

Supervisor Tommy Barlow (Mountain Road District) opposed Dubé's appointment. Barlow also voted against Dubé's becoming citizen liaison to the MOG, citing the fact he was formerly the fire chief.

"Most of his experience has been with career staff," Barlow said. "I'm hoping he'll be able to work with the volunteers. You've got to have some flexibility to do that."

During Dubé's first tenure as fire chief, the county and volunteer agencies began the process of consolidation, which led to career staffing within the volunteer-owned stations. While the county now has around 50 paid staff, volunteers continue to be a significant part of fire and emergency response.

“I’m humbled and grateful for the opportunity to work together with our board, career staff, and volunteer personnel to continually improve our services to the citizens of Louisa," Dubé said.

Dubé holds an associate’s degree in fire science administration, a bachelor’s degree in public safety administration and a master’s degree in executive leadership. He began his fire service career in Loudoun County in 1974 as a volunteer and was a member of the Leesburg and Sterling Volunteer Fire Departments.

Last updated Aug. 18 at 2:20 p.m.

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