The Virginia Beach Fire Department is a customer service organization partnering with communities, members, citizens and visitors to foster the feeling of safety any place, any time through planning, mitigation, response and restoration.
Administrative Services Division
District Chief Michael Barakey (CFO) joined the Virginia Beach Fire Department in 1995. He currently serves as the District Chief of Administration and oversees Communication and Information Technology, Finance and Budget, Resource Management, Research and Analysis, and Accreditation. Chief Barakey is a Hazardous Materials Specialist, Instructor III, National Registered Paramedic, Plans Team Manager for VA Task Force II Urban Search & Rescue, a classroom instructor for the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC),and is a regular contributor to Fire Engineering Magazine. Chief Barakey holds a Master of Public Administration from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program.
Research and Analysis Manager
Technical Services Division
District Chief James M. Ramsey Joined the Virginia Beach Fire Department in 1990. He currently serves as the District Chief of Personnel and Development and oversees Human Resources, Training and the Fire Marshal Office. James has served in numerous operational and administrative roles within the Department. He is a member of the regions Type 3 Incident Management Team and veteran of the U.S. Army. District Chief Ramsey holds an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science from Tidewater Community College and a Bachelor’s of Science from Columbia Southern University in Fire Administration. He is a graduate of West Point Leadership, VFMA Law Enforcement, NFPA 1031 and NFPA 1033.
Human Resources Administrative Specialist
Susan Salafranca manages the department’s promotional and hiring processes, Workforce Planning & Development and Equal Opportunity Employment reporting, Diversity & Inclusion, career progressions, and performance appraisals. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Industrial & Organizational Psychology and a minor in Human Resources Management from Old Dominion University.
Cathy Morse, Senior Public Safety Analyst is responsible for collecting data and providing research, reporting, and statistical data necessary to support the mission and programs of the fire department. Included in her division’s responsibilities is the reporting of all incidents responded to by the Fire Department to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). She is also responsible for oversight of the department’s RMS RedNMX and data administration of Deccan applications CAD Analyst and ADAM HPC used to assist the department in the analysis and deployment of current and future resources.
Christia M. Webb coordinates the recruitment and hiring process for all uniform, civilian, volunteer, and student intern personnel.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the College of William and Mary, with a Minor in French.
She also has four years of Human Resources experience and has worked in public safety for the City of Virginia Beach since 2009.
If you’re interested in a rewarding career with the Virginia Beach Fire Department, contact Christia at hireVBFD@VBgov.com
Budget and Finance Manager
Carrie Brandt is responsible for managing the department’s budget and finances, including Payroll, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and Grants. Carrie has been with the City since December 1991 and has extensive experience in research and analysis, budgeting, group facilitation, and project management. She is a veteran of the United States Navy and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Management from St. Leo University.
Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator
Erin Sutton brings a very diverse background to the position she continues to build upon the processes and programs already in place here in Virginia Beach in order to make our city a safer place to live, work and play. Over the past decade she has worked in the emergency planning field, obtained several professional certifications, and completed extensive work in the public health field.
Vision (where we are headed)
The Technology and Communications Bureau will provide instantaneous, reliable communication, across the public safety organizations within the city and the region. We will create a seamless exchange of information in and out of the next generation 911-system and the integrated records management system. We will provide consistent, reliable and easily navigated pathways for assistance. We will create an adaptive environment that continues to leverage new technology.
Mission (what we do)
Mission Statement: The VBFD Technology and Communications Bureau was established to improve the Department’s efforts to use information and technology to support and advance its core life safety mission. The Technology Bureau ensures the delivery of reliable voice and data communication systems to all fire department facilities and apparatus. The Bureau coordinates all maintenance of radios, telephones and computers with COMIT and other vendors. The Bureau explores new technology for the Virginia Beach Fire Department to improve operational efficiency now and into the future.
Battalion Chief Kenneth Pravetz joined the Virginia Beach Fire Department in February 1999. He is currently assigned as the department’s chief information officer. He is serving on the Integrated Public Safety Project and as one of the fire liaisons to emergency communications (911-center). He is a Pro Board Certified Health and Safety Officer and Incident Safety Officer. Chief Pravetz is responsible for oversight of the department’s Technology and Communication Bureau. He serves on three NFPA Technical Committees, Data Exchange in the Fire Service, Emergency Service Organization Risk Management and Respiratory Protective Equipment.
Chief Pravetz holds an Associate’s Degree in Fire Science, a Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Safety with a minor in Labor Studies and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. He is also a graduate of the West Point Leadership Course.
Research & Analysis Bureau
Battalion Chief Amy Valdez joined the Virginia Beach Fire Department July 1996. She is currently assigned to Fire Administration as the Battalion Chief of Research and Analysis. Battalion Chief Valdez is responsible for the daily management of Public Information and Media Relations and is also the department's Accreditation Manager.
Battalion Chief Valdez is a Nationally Registered Paramedic and currently serves as a Medical Specialist for the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team, VA-TF2. She completed her MPA at Old Dominion University and also holds a Bachelor's Degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Richmond, and an A.A.S. in Emergency Medical Science from Tidewater Community College.