Richmond Fire Chief Michael Banks to retire at end of year

Richmond Fire Chief Michael Banks to retire at end of year

Richmond Fire Chief Michael Banks is set to retire at the end of the year after 34 years of service to the city.

The announcement was apparently made public through the Richmond City Council agenda for Tuesday’s special meeting. A proclamation on the agenda thanks Banks for his service to the city, which will conclude “in December of this year.”

An RFD official told the Richmond Standard on Friday that a replacement hasn’t been named. An attempt to contact Banks wasn’t immediately successful.

According to the city’s proclamation, the chief was first hired by the city in 1980 and rose through the ranks from firefighter to fire engineer to fire captain to battalion chief and training director. He became interim Fire Chief in 2004 and finally Fire Chief the same year.

City leaders said Banks “quietly made invaluable contributions” to improve the Fire Department and enhance community safety. Not only did he move up due to talent and hard work, he rewarded others with the same attributes with upward movement in the department, the proclamation said.

Chief Banks’ tenure appears to have had relatively little controversy, aside from reports of excessive overtime in his department.

“The City of Richmond wishes to extend sincere gratitude for the innovative and progressive policies that came about under his leadership,” states the proclamation, which will be read Tuesday by Mayor Gayle McLaughlin.

Stay tuned for more coverage of Banks’ retirement following Tuesday’s council hearing.

Correction: Chief Banks became interim chief in 2004, not 2006 as the story initially stated.