Donnelly named DC Fire and EMS chief

John A. Donnelly Sr. is the new chief of D.C. Fire and EMS.

Donnelly started his career at D.C.’s Truck 16 and is a 28-year veteran of the department.

He currently leads the professional development bureau where he is responsible for the human resources division.

Donnelly has served as an EMT, paramedic, firefighter and an officer during his career.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser nominated Donnelly for the position in September.

At the time, Donnelly said working for D.C. Fire and EMS “had been my dream.”

When asked to reflect on his first day in the early 1990s and whether he thought about taking the reins, he said, “I had no clue one day I could become the fire and EMS chief; I was just worried about not messing up that first day.”

Donnelly was officially confirmed by the D.C. City Council on Tuesday.

He will take over for Gregory Dean, who took over the department 5 1/2 years ago and was praised for turning around a struggling department.

Dean is retiring after almost six years as chief.

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