Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: November 14, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov | Virginia Department of Fire Programs: Vanessa Copeland, Vanessa.Copeland@vdfp.virginia.gov

Governor Northam Announces Virginia’s New State Fire Marshal

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced the selection of Virginia’s new State Fire Marshal, Garrett Dyer. Garrett Dyer will oversee the law and code enforcement branch of the Virginia Department of Fire Programs (VDFP), and lead more than 28 inspectors and administrative support staff. The Virginia State Fire Marshal’s role is to implement and enforce the fire code.

Dyer is the first African-American appointed to serve as Virginia’s State Fire Marshal.

“The fire code exists to protect citizens and property, and enforcing it is an important job,” said Governor Northam. “State Fire Marshal Dyer has devoted his career to public safety, and I’m confident he will ensure that Virginia remains a leader in fire safety.”

Dyer has previously served as chief of the Virginia Fire Marshal Academy, VDFP’s training branch specifically for fire services personnel who want to pursue careers in law and fire code enforcement. He joined VDFP in 2018 with over 30 years of public safety experience. Dyer previously worked with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and Virginia Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team. As part of that team, he responded to several notable missions, including the Oklahoma City bombing, the U.S. Embassy bombing in Nairobi, Kenya, the Pentagon during 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina.

“I have devoted my career to keeping the public safe, and enforcing fire codes is an important continuation of that work,” said State Fire Marshal Garrett Dyer. “I am honored to lead Virginia’s fire law and code enforcement team as we work to protect Virginia’s citizens and property.”

Dyer also serves as Virginia’s representative for the National Fire Protection Association’s Public Education Network.

“Public safety personnel often possess skill sets that are transferrable no matter the area of service,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “State Fire Marshal Dyer has devoted his career to public safety and finds it extremely rewarding. His proficiency is commendable.” 

“We identified the expertise needed from within the agency, which is advantageous for us,” said VDFP Executive Director Michael Reilly. “Chief Dyer has shown exemplary leadership and a desire to transform a culture that he is very familiar with. He is cognizant of the VDFP mission and will align his expertise along with advancing the Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office in a positive manner.” 

Dyer holds a bachelor’s degree in Fire Science from the University of Maryland. He is a graduate of the paramedic program from George Washington University and the Senior Executive Institute at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.

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