Joseph R. Gebauer, of 1113 Cross Dr., Alexandria, a 19-year veteran of fire service and currently battalion chief and training officer in the Alexandria Fire Department, has been named to the newly created post of director of fire and rescue services for the City of Fairfax by City Manager George E. Hubler Jr.
Gebauer, who assumes his new position Sept. 2, will be responsible for orgainzing and operating a new Fairfax City fire and rescue services department. Beginning May 1, 1978, the city will take over responsibility for fire services within its own boundaries from Fairfax county. The new department will have two stations and 30 full-time firefighters, with a first year operating budget of almost $400,000.
Under the current arrangement the county operates Company No. 3,4081 University Dr., in Fairfax with the assistance of the Fairfax Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., which owns all the equipment at the station. Under the new plan, the city will take over that responsibility. Another fire station will also be built at Rt. 50 and Rebel Run Road. According to Gebauer, that station is currently being designed by an architect. The volunteers will raise the estimated $200,000 needed for its construction.
According to Gebauer, some of the new department's organization hinges on current negotiations between the city and Fairfax County on which jurisdiction will be responsible for certain services. One of the matters to be determined is whether the Fairfax City Fire Department will have its own dispatch center or will use the county's dispatch facilities.
A mutual aid system must also be worked out, according to Gebauer.
"And one of the first things I have to do is hire the four shift commanders who will work directly under me," said Gebauer. "I'll be using them in organizing the new department."
Gebauer estimated that the commanders would be hired within the next three months.
The city fire department will use equipment already owned by the Fairfax City volunteers.
Gebauer says he plans to operate a combined EMT-firefighter program under which all professional fire-fighter would also be certified Emergency Medical Technicians.
Gebauer began his firefighting career with the East Liverpool, Ohio, fire department in 1958. He joined the Alexandria Fire Department in 1962 and became a battalion chief in 1974. He became the city's fire department training officer last March.
He has attended the National Fire Department Management School in Dallas, and holds an Associate Degree in Fire Administration from the Northern Virginia Community College.
Gebauer holds professional membership in the National Fire Protection Association and the International Society of Fire Service Instructors. He currently serves as chairman of the Fire Science Advisory Committee for the Northern Virginia Community College.