Both Chief L. G. "Grover" Hollomon and T.E. "Tommy" Jensen officially retired effective July 1, 2002. Virginia Firefighters Online extends its best regards to both chiefs, both who have always placed the good of their personnel and the department above other concerns. Their dedication to the Portsmouth Fire Department has been exemplary.  Assigned to the top post in the interim is Battalion Chief K.E." Jack" Vick. Chief Vick's experience will be a valuable asset to the department during this period of transition. Chief  N.E. "Newel" Whitehead is currently serving in the capacity of Deputy Chief. In the short term, says Chief Whitehead, we will be working together closely to keep the department running effectively. Among our top priorities said the chief will be making promotions and improving moral within the department.

Katherine Brooks, resigned to take a job involving grants at Tidewater community college. The fire department will find it difficult to find someone with the talent and depth of experience to replace her. Prior to her departure, she was assisting us with a grant for a fitness and wellness program that will benefit both active and retired police and firefighters. We have received $13,500 from the Portsmouth Community Trust and the Beazley Foundation. We further anticipate additional funding from the Portsmouth General Hospital Foundation, and the Maryview Hospital Foundation.

The fire service should be actively pursuing funding from various grants that are available to assist with programs the city may not have the resources to finance. To some degree this is being accomplished, however,  with the reduction of personnel in the front office, resources have been stretched thin and may not be adequate to the job of research and exploitation these funds.