News report: The Rube ‘plans to resign’ as Petersburg, VA chief

TV station cites budget as an issue

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UPDATE: Three days after WWBT-TV story Chief Dennis Rubin says it’s a non-story

Something about the cover of the recently published book from Chief Dennis Rubin, AKA “The Rube”,  caught my eye. Next to Chief Rubin’s name on “It’s Always About Leadership” was a logo for the DC Fire & EMS Department. That was odd considering The Rube hasn’t been chief in DC for more than seven years. But he’s been chief in Petersburg, Virginia for a year and before that, De Pere, Wisconsin.

Today, there may be a little more clarity on all of this. WWBT-TV reports Chief Dennis Rubin “plans to resign” from the Petersburg Department of Fire, Rescue, and Emergency Services. While there’s no indication that it’s because Rubin didn’t put the Petersburg logo on the cover of the book, here’s what’s known so far:

Sources say the fire department was operating over budget and it was impacting morale among firefighters.

Rubin’s reported resignation comes as he recently presented a plan to get rid of part-time EMS workers within the department to help save funds for the city.

The Rube and have long had an uneasy relationship. Chief Rubin has given me the silent treatment for just about a decade, though he has explained what that’s about. I was hoping to find that smoking gun in his book DC Fire. No such luck, though I was the subject of a few not so accurate blind items in the book.

Despite all of that, when it was announced Dennis Rubin would be the new fire chief in Petersburg I expressed hope this would good for both the troubled city and the chief. My thought being if Rubin could get the underfunded and scandal-ridden department back on its feet it would be a good thing to help rebuild his resume.

The Rube had struggled landing a chief’s job for years after leaving DC. For many observers, including me, it seemed the score settling in his DC Fire book may have been a turn off for potential new employers. While I’m not a fan of the book, I do find Rubin’s chapter on the hiring process and the DC cadet program very candid and useful.

The big question now is if the book “Petersburg Fire” is in the works.


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