During the 15th Annual Firefighters Holiday Rescuer's Toy Distribution, Fairfax County Fire Chief Ronald L. Mastin mentioned that the event would be his last as fire chief. Mastin said he plans to retire in a few months.
"This will be my last one," Mastin said of the annual toy and coat drive.
William Bailey, captain and aide to the assistant chief of personnel services, said during the event that the firefighters wouldn't be able give back to the children of the community without Mastin's support.
Dan Schmidt, spokesman for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, said the fire chief plans to retire in May, but he hasn't scheduled a specific date for his final day on the job.
Mastin is a 38-year fire and rescue veteran, having served Fairfax County from 1973 to 2001, according to the fire and rescue department's website. From 2001 to 2007, he served as fire chief for Henrico County. He then returned to Fairfax County to serve as fire chief in June of 2007.
Schmidt said Fairfax County Human Resources officials will make the decision about who will take Mastin's place when he retires. Merni Fitzgerald, director of public affairs for Fairfax County, said in a recent email that the county has begun the process of choosing a new fire chief.
The position was advertised nationwide, Fitzgerald said. Applications were submitted and the recruiting phase is officially complete. The next steps will include interviews and background and reference checks.
The appointment for the position will be made by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors during one of their regular public meetings and the county will make an official announcement when the position is filled. Fitzgerald said they anticipate having the position filled by the time Mastin leaves.
Schmidt said Mastin is not interested in discussing his retirement any further at this time.