One of the most outgoing members of Herndon's Fire Station 4, Capt. Robert Rhoads, known as "Dusty" by colleagues and friends, takes time from his busy schedule with Fairfax County's Fire and Rescue Department to tell a little about himself.
Name: Robert “Dusty” Rhoads
Born: 1956 in central Pennsylvania
Occupation/position: Captain in the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department/Station Commander Fire Station 4 in Herndon.
Achievements: I am the station commander at the Herndon Fire Station. I work with a great group of firefighters and paramedics for one of the best fire departments in the country. There are people who are alive today, there are houses which are the homes of families, and there are items that people can continue to treasure because working with others we were able to save lives, save homes and save the things in the homes that are treasured.
Likes: Family, people, good food, the mountains, good music and summertime.
Dislikes: Arrogance, intolerance and apathy.
Favorite (local) restaurant/place: Too many favorite local restaurants to choose only one. Favorite place: Herndon Town Green for a summer concert, Lake Anne in Reston and Great Falls Park.
Sports interests/activities: Redskins, Nationals and local and international track. I work too much to truly enjoy my other interests which include running and hiking, photography, wood working, fixing things and geek computer stuff.
Community ties: I have lived and worked in the area for more than 25 years and know many of the people in the area through the school system, or work, or as neighbors and friends.
Community concerns: Herndon is a great town with many wonderful people. But the challenge the town faces of growing with the very diverse cultures that exist in the town will test the community. NIMBY [Not In My Back Yard] has unfortunately been a rallying cry for many in the area. Also, I am not sure that anyone really has a good understanding of all of the ways that bringing Metrorail to the area will change life in the town.
Community ideas: The redevelopment of the center of Herndon is a great idea. Although the town has great recreational and educational opportunities, I hope to see more of an effort put forward to reach all of the children in the area to educate them, provide personal growth and keep them out of gangs.
Personal goals: In the short term, I hope to continue to serve the town and the county in my role in the Fire Department. After I retire, I might ponder an entry into politics, or running a community organization. Hopefully, I will make it to 60 and will be able to run a marathon on or near my 60th birthday.