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Owens appointed Chief of Fire & Rescue Services Division

(3/16) Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner today announced the appointment of Thomas Owens as chief and director of the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services (DFRS), effective March 16, 2015.

Executive Gardner commented, "I am very pleased to welcome Tom Owens back to the important role of chief of our fire and emergency medical services operations. Stability, professionalism and experience are the key words that I would use to describe Tom, who brings over 40 years of fire and emergency service experience to the Division of Fire and Rescue Services. With his previous service for the county, we are confident that he will hit the ground running and provide a smooth transition for career and volunteer personnel alike. He began as a volunteer firefighter at age 16 and rose through the ranks to become chief for two combination career and volunteer fire departments, dedicating his life to serving citizens of both urban and rural communities. He is well known as a devoted and hard working firefighter who we are confident will serve the citizens of Frederick County well."

Mr. Owens served from 2010 – 2013 as DFRS chief and director, when he departed the county to focus on family priorities that required his care and attention.

Previously, Mr. Owens served from 2003 – 2010 as fire chief of the City of Fairfax Fire Department, Fairfax, Va., and previously served as assistant fire chief of the department from 1998 to 2003.

Prior to his service with the City of Fairfax Fire Department, Mr. Owens was director of Fire and Rescue for the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Department in Winchester, Va., (1990 - 1998); management analyst III and volunteer coordinator for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, Fairfax, Va., (1984 - 1990), and chief of operations and training for Loudoun County Fire and Rescue, Leesburg, Va., (1978-1984).

Mr. Owens also worked as a firefighter for the District of Columbia Fire Department, Washington, D.C., (1977 - 1978) and firefighter/station officer with Prince William County Fire and Rescue, Manassas, Va., (1972 - 1977).

The Sterling Volunteer Fire Department and citizens in Loudoun County, Va., benefitted from 21 years of volunteer service (1969-1990) provided by Mr. Owens. He served in all operational capacities as he rose from the ranks of firefighter through chief of the department.

In addition to many years of career and volunteer work in fire departments, Mr. Owens has extensive training and certifications in the field.

Mr. Owens received the Firehouse Magazine Medal of Valor and the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce Silver Medal of Valor for lifesaving actions at a house fire in Sterling, Va., in 1988.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in organizational leadership and development from Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, W.Va. He also holds an Associate degree in fire science-administration from Northern Virginia Community College and the Chief Fire Officer designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence.

For further information on the appointment of Chief Owens, contact Chief Administrative Officer Doug Browning at 301-600-1028 or via e-mail at

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