James Bonzano Selected as Arlington County Fire Chief

Published on May 05, 2016


  • 31 years of experience with the Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD)

  • Served as Acting Assistant Chief

  • Extensive experience in nearly every section of the ACFD


County Manager Mark Schwartz has named James Bonzano Arlington County Fire Chief, after an extensive national search. Chief Bonzano joined the ACFD in 1984, and has worked in a multitude of positions in his 31 years with the department, most recently serving as Acting Assistant Chief. Over the course of his career he has led and served in nearly every section of the fire department, including time as South Deputy Chief, Personnel Services Section Chief and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Battalion Chief. Chief Bonzano will begin his new position on May 8.

"Chief Bonzano brings a wealth of experience to this position, as well as deep ties to the Arlington community and Fire Department," said Schwartz. "Over the last three decades, he has been committed to being a strong and progressive leader and I am thrilled that he will continue to do so as our new Fire Chief."

Chief Bonzano has worked to create positive and lasting partnerships with both the community and regional fire prevention and EMS programs. He serves on committees for both the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Northern Virginia Chiefs Committee, and is a well-known and respected member of the public safety community.

"I am honored to work alongside the great men and women of the ACFD," said Bonzano. "I was born here in Arlington, and I feel privileged to continue to serve this community as Fire Chief. I am looking forward to the great things I know we will accomplish together."

Chief Bonzano received his Master's degree from Marymount University in Organizational Leadership and Innovation, and his Bachelor's degree in Health Science from Old Dominion University. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Dominion Hospital and as a Board Member for the Northern Virginia Community College EMS Program.