Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, has selected Benjamin M. Barksdale to serve as Acting Fire Chief of the County
Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department effective today, March 1, 2017. Upon County Council confirmation later this year, Chief Barksdale, who has over 35 years of fire service experience, will become the Department’s twelfth Fire Chief. Prior to joining the Fire/EMS Department as a Deputy Fire Chief on June 20, 2011, Acting Fire Chief Barksdale was Assistant Fire Chief with the Arlington County Fire Department in Virginia. Since being with the Prince George’s County, he served as Administrative Services and Emergency Services Commander until being appointed Chief Deputy, the second highest position within the Department.
Acting Fire Chief Barksdale, who holds a Master of Science degree in Management, is recognized as a Chief Fire Officer by the Commission on Professional Credentialing, certified as a Public Manager, and a certified Fire Instructor with the Virginia Department of Fire Programs. He is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Human Relations Committee, and a member of the Black Chief Officers Committee. He also served as Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Senior Operations Chiefs Committee and is a member of the Nation’s Capital Incident Management Team.
Acting Fire Chief Barksdale played a key role in the Department’s 39 apparatus replacement program and updating the entire inventory of self-contained breathing apparatus. He has spent two tours training firefighters in Kenya, with fellow firefighters from around the United States. Acting Fire Chief Barksdale, along with his wife of 25 years, Sandra, and 19-year- old daughter, Olivia, reside in Prince George’s County.