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Posted on: February 7, 2019

CITY MANAGER NAMES NEW FIRE CHIEF

Jeff Johnson has 30+ years of experience in all aspects of Fire and EMS


City Manager Cindy Rohlf has announced her selection of Jeffrey S. “Jeff” Johnson for the position of Newport News Fire Chief. Johnson currently serves as Fire Chief for Salinas, California. In his new role, he will be responsible for an annual operating budget of more than $34 million, 11 stations, and a staff of 380. 

City Manager Cindy Rohlf said, “Jeff has a wealth of experience in fire and emergency medical services as well as emergency management and will be a tremendous asset to our City and our citizens. We are delighted to have him lead the extraordinary men and women of our nationally and internationally recognized Fire Department.”

“I am excited and humbled to be joining the Newport News Fire Department,” Johnson said. “I look forward to working side by side with the men and women serving our community. The greatest asset of any organization is the people, and I will work hard every day to ensure they have the tools, skills, and safety they need to protect our citizens and visitors.”

Johnson has over 30 years of increasingly responsible experience in EMS and fire service. He began his career in 1988 with the Grandview (Mo.) Fire Department as firefighter and paramedic. He moved to the Kansas City (Mo.) Fire Department where he progressed through the ranks from firefighter to Deputy Fire Chief before being named Fire Chief for the City of Salinas. Johnson has served as an adjunct college instructor in disaster management and fire science and has authored several publications for industry organizations. 

Johnson holds an associate’s degree in Fire Science from Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City, a bachelor’s degree in fire management from Columbia Southern University and a master’s degree in public administration from American Public University. Additionally, he has earned the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) certification from the Center for Public Safety Excellence as well as the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer (EFO) certification.

He will begin his new position on February 25 with an annual salary of $170,000.

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