The Aegis
Harford County

Rick Davis resigns as Bel Air fire chief, successor will be elected Sept. 6

Rick Davis has stepped down as chief of the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company.

Davis, who remains a fire company member, tendered his resignation to the company's board of directors Aug. 8, Rich Gardiner, a spokesperson for the Harford County Volunteer Fire & EMS Association and a Bel Air member, confirmed Thursday.


A special election will be held Sept. 6 to fill the position.

Gardiner said Davis, who had been chief for more than two years, stepped down for personal reasons. He said the resignation was a surprise for him.


"He was a good, positive leader," Gardiner said. "He was a good mentor to the younger members."

Gardiner said "it will be sad to see him step down" but "we understand it and will move forward."

Gardiner noted Davis "poured his heart and soul into the department and community as chief."

Davis declined to comment when reached by phone Thursday. He stressed he resigned for personal reasons and it had nothing to do with the fire company.

Deputy Chief Mike Walker has been carrying out the chief's duties since Davis resigned, with support from his fellow assistant chiefs, according to Gardiner.

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Gardiner said they have "taken the chief's duties and responsibilities between them all." The chief's position will remain vacant until the special election.

Elections for all administrative and line officers, including the fire chief, are held each December. Anyone who declared an interest in running for fire chief last year would be eligible to run in the special election, Gardiner said.

Two candidates are in line for the position as of Thursday, according to Gardiner.


The person elected chief in September will serve until the regular elections in December.

Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company handled 2,308 fire calls and 7,436 EMS calls in 2015, the same year the company observed its 125th anniversary.

Davis has spent 27 years with the company. His late father, Rick B. Davis, who spent 35 years with Bel Air, was chief in 1998.

The younger Davis became chief in June 2014, when he succeeded Edward Hopkins, according to Gardiner. Hopkins is the emergency services director for Harford County.