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Neuhard Names First Woman Chief Officer In FCF&R Dept.

Christine Napier Woodard, a 23-year veteran of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, was recently named by Fire Chief Michael P. Neuhard as a Battalion Chief effective Feb. 5. She is the first woman in the department to achieve that rank.

Woodard, who became a firefighter in March 1982, will be assigned as the Battalion Chief of Emergency Medical Services (EMS), A-Shift. She currently serves as Captain II of EMS Administration.

Beginning her career at McLean Fire and Rescue Station 1, she was promoted to Sergeant in 1985, Lieutenant in 1988, Captain I in 1995, and Captain II in 2000. Woodard was subsequently assigned to Human Resources, Recruitment Section; the Office of the Fire Marshal, Inspections Section; and the Fire and Rescue Academy, according to Daniel Schmidt, department public information officer.

Woodard is a certified paramedic, has a bachelor of science in teaching from George Washington University, and a master of science in management studies in emergency health service, EMS Administration from the University of Maryland. She is a Leesburg resident where she lives with her three children, Matthew, Amanda, and Dana.

NEUHARD ALSO announced the promotions of John J. Caussin, Jr., to Deputy Chief for Support Services, and David M. McKernan to Deputy Chief for of Fire Prevention. Both currently serve as field battalion chiefs, according to Schmidt.

Caussin became a firefighter in 1985, beginning his career at Jefferson Fire and Rescue Station 18. He was promoted to Cave-In Technician in 1988, to Lieutenant in 1989, to Captain I in 1995, and Captain II in 1998, when he became Station Commander at Chantilly Station 15. Subsequent assignments brought Caussin to Penn Daw Station 11, Fair Oaks Station 21, Jefferson Station 18, and the Fire and Rescue Academy.

In September 2002, he was promoted to Battalion Chief and assigned as field battalion chief, responsible for the daily operations of a six stations along Richmond Highway with a personnel compliment of 70. As Deputy Chief for Support Services, Caussin will be responsible for communications, apparatus, information systems, resource management, and logistics within the entire department.

He is certified as a National Registry Paramedic, NREMT-P, with an associate degree in applied science, fire administration (summa cum laude) from Northern Virginia Community College. He also has his bachelor of science in communication arts from James Madison University.

Caussin lives in Springfield with his wife Pam and their three children, Terra, Michael and Jack. His promotion becomes effective Feb. 5.

MCKERNAN BEGAN his firefighter career at Clifton Station 16 in September 1974. He was promoted to Technician in 1979 and assigned to West Annandale Station 23. In 1991 he achieved the rank of Lieutenant and was assigned to the Fire and Rescue Academy and subsequently to Edsall Station 26.

In 1995 he was promoted to the rank of Captain I and in 1999 was named Captain II, assigned to Fire Prevention and Hazardous Materials and Investigative Services. McKernan became a Battalion Chief in 2002 with duties as a field battalion chief, responsible for the daily operations of six stations with approximately 70 personnel.

Beginning on Feb. 5, as Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention, he will be responsible for Hazardous Materials and Investigative Services, and Fire Prevention Services within the department.

McKernan is certified as a National Registry Paramedic, NREMT-P. He has an associate degree in fire science from Northern Virginia Community College, and a bachelor of science in fire science management from George Mason University.

McKernan lives in Burke, with his wife Mary Anne. He has a son Kevin; daughter-in-law Bonnie; and daughter Kelly.