Hanover Fire-EMS Chief Jethro Piland has announced his plans to retire Tuesday, Oct. 31, capping off decades of dedicated service to Hanover County.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Hanover County. Not only was I provided the opportunity to learn, grow and become successful, I had the privilege to lead and work alongside the best public servants in the Commonwealth,” Chief Piland said.
He began his public service career as a teenager, when he volunteered with the East Hanover Rescue Squad. After graduating from Virginia Military Institute, Chief Piland joined Hanover Fire-EMS in 1997, worked his way up the ranks and was named Fire Chief in 2012.
Throughout his 33-year career, Chief Piland received numerous accolades. He was recognized with a Hanover Fire-EMS Line of Duty Performance Award for helping to save the life of a man pulled into raging waters during Tropical Storm Gaston. He is the recipient of a Governor’s Virginia Fire Service Award for Excellence in Virginia Fire Service and a Belize National Fire Service Award.
Chief Piland served on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association, the Governor's Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board and the Reynolds Community College EMS Advisory Committee, where he acted as Chair.
He is currently Chair of Grace Christian School in Mechanicsville and serves as a Flight Paramedic with VCU Health.
Under Chief Piland’s leadership, some recent accomplishments include enhancing service to the community with 24-hour engines, ambulances and ladder trucks, implementing a nationally accredited Paramedic Program, constructing a state-of-the-art burn training building and advocating the approval of a Laurel Meadow Fire-EMS Station.
“The women and men of Hanover Fire-EMS are dedicated, intelligent and compassionate individuals. We have accomplished seemingly impossible tasks and experienced tragic losses. I am proud of our department and amazed at the adversity we have overcome. They are family. It is time to close this chapter of my life and open another,” he said.
“Jethro has dedicated much of his life to the service of Hanover County residents, and I am grateful for all of the contributions that he has made,” said County Administrator John A. Budesky. “Our Fire-EMS department is one of the best in Virginia and Jethro’s leadership has played a large part in their accomplishments. I wish him the best in whatever path he chooses to take going forward and thank him for what he has done.”
Budesky has appointed Deputy Chief Christopher Anderson to serve as Acting Chief effective Nov. 1 while the County conducts a comprehensive process to find the next Chief of Hanover Fire-EMS.