Charles H. Rule, who quit as Alexandria's fire chief at the end of l983 when he was not named the city's public safety director, is working as a consultant in Quincy, Mass., and looking for a job as fire chief in a warmer clime "where I don't have to shovel snow," he said last week.

The outspoken Rule, who spent seven years in Alexandria and often clashed with then-City Manager Douglas Harman and Charles T. Strobel, the man who got the public safety director post, went on to become vice president of the National Fire Prevention Association. He said he left that organization recently because there was not enough money to implement the programs he wanted to pursue.

"They treated me very well . . . but I want to get back into local government, and I've applied quite a few places," he said.

Rule, 48, said he misses his friends in Alexandria, particularly his former fire department staff, which he called a "professional bunch of guys." In a major reorganization in 1983, the fire department was merged with the police and a code enforcement agency into the Public Safety Department. Rule opposed the consolidation.

Rule said he is often sent unsolicited newspaper articles about the city. He said one recent Washington Post story about Harman, and some difficulties Harman has encountered in his new job as city manager of Fort Worth, showed up in his mailbox four times. The senders "don't send their names, they just slip the stories in an envelope and mail it to me."