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Panel recommends Williams as new fire chief

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

NEW MARKET — The New Market Public Safety Committee bade farewell to the town’s fire and rescue chief and recommended the appointment of his temporary replacement during the committee’s meeting on Monday.

Gary Yew is retiring Sept. 1 after leading the Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue for 14 years. He has been New Market’s chief since Dec. 21.

The panel voted unanimously to recommend to Town Council that Tim Williams, operations chief for the county department, take over as interim chief in New Market. Council will vote on the appointment during its meeting on Aug. 15.

Williams will also assume Yew’s role in the county on an interim basis until a permanent chief can be found.

Council appointed Yew to replace former chief Robbie Smith, whom council removed in December as a result of hostile relations between New Market Fire and Rescue volunteers and county first responders stationed in the town.

Committee members Peggy Harkness, Gary Comer and Vice Mayor Joe Blosser, as well as Mayor Doug Bradley and Town Manager Mike Ritchie, thanked Yew for his service in New Market during the last seven months.

“You came in at a difficult time, and things have gotten better on both sides,” Harkness said.

Yew thanked town leaders for their support, and praised Williams’ credentials.

“He was born and raised in the Strasburg area,” Yew said. “He has a strong relationship with the county volutneers. He’s a very mission-focused firefighter.”

Williams spent 25 years at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and became its captain before coming to Shenandoah County. He was present at the meeting but didn’t speak.




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