Prince George’s Co. fire chief finds new job in retirement

Prince George’s County Fire Chief Ben Barksdale will be taking a job as fire chief in Orlando, Florida. (WTOP/John Domen)

When the Prince George’s County fire chief announced his retirement back in July, he had at the time every intention of moving south and enjoying life after more than 32 years as a firefighter in the region. But, this past week, things have changed.

Two weeks after he retires from Prince George’s County, Maryland, Ben Barksdale will take over as the fire chief in the city of Orlando, Florida. He starts Nov. 15.

“I thought, well, if I can go to Florida and establish myself in a city there, and after that, after five or six years done working, just stay there,” Barksdale said.

He said part of the reason he was looking to move south is because his retirement benefits will go further than they will in Maryland.

But Barksdale is also excited about what the city of Orlando offers in its fire department.

“[It’s a] department with 17 stations, and I’ll have two more stations added on in the next two to three years for a total of 19,” Barksdale said.

Though the department overall is smaller than what he deals with in Prince George’s County, it is a growing department and Barksdale believes “the challenges will be the same.”

When Barksdale announced his retirement back on July 30, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks tapped Chief Deputy Tiffany Green to be his replacement.

Green will take over as interim chief on Nov. 1, and has been nominated to take over the job on a permanent basis by Alsobrooks, pending confirmation by the county council. It’s possible that could happen sometime in December.

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John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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