Director, Southeastern Division

R. Scott Garber, CFO, EFO
Fire Chief, City of Staunton Fire & Rescue (VA)

As an accomplished fire chief with over twenty-eight years of proven career fire services, emergency management and leadership experience, Chief R. Scott Garber has served as the City of Staunton’s Fire Chief for the past twelve years. As the fire chief, Scott is responsible for ensuring the City’s 19.7 square miles, composed of both urban and rural landscape, is protected and prepared for all types of hazards and emergencies. Through his leadership and progressive fire services management, pre-planning and emergency response tactics, Chief Garber oversees the department’s tactical response for an average of 4,500 calls annually.

Chief Garber earned his Bachelor’s of Science (BS) degree in Management and Organizational Development from Eastern Mennonite University. In 2008, Chief Garber received both the Chief Fire Officer designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence and completed the Executive Fire Officer Program from the National Fire Academy. Chief Garber is also a 2015 graduate of the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, Leading Educating and Developing (LEAD) program and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Virginia Executive Institute.

Chief Garber currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs and was the 2022-2023 President. Chief Garber served as the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association (VFCA) President from 2019 – 2020. Scott continues to serve on the VFCA Legislative Committee as an integral member working to preserve, protect and enhance the invaluable service provided by today’s modern and ever-changing fire and rescue services. Scott served on the VFCA Board of Directors from 2010 until 2021.

Scott received the 2014 Governor’s Virginia Fire Service Award for Excellence in Virginia Fire Service Management, the 2015 Governor’s Virginia Fire Service Award for Excellence in Virginia Fire Service Training, and the 2021 Governor’s Virginia Fire Service Award for Virginia Career Fire Chief of the Year. Also in 2015, Scott received the John B. Noftsinger Alumni Award for Public Service from James Madison University. Scott was presented with the 2020 Virginia Fire Chiefs Association Glenn A. Gaines Leadership Legacy Award. He was awarded the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs 2022 Career Fire Chief of the Year.

As a native of the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, Scott is dedicated to the protection and safety of the citizens and firefighters of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Scott is also an adjunct instructor for the Heavy & Technical Rescue Division, and Fire Officer 3 & 4 curriculums for the Virginia Department of Fire Programs. He is also a technical rescue instructor for Spec Rescue International. In his spare time, Scott enjoys spending time with his wife, Tonya, and their son, Eston. Tonya recently retired after 31 years as an elementary school teacher and Eston is in his second year at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.

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