New chief hired to lead Richmond Fire Department

Richmond Fire Department offers tips for approaching fire season

A veteran Oakland battalion chief has been hired as chief of the Richmond Fire Department, taking over for Chief Michael Banks, who is retiring in December after 34 years with the department.

Adrian Sheppard will begin work with the city Dec. 31, according to City Manager Bill Lindsay’s weekly newsletter.

Sheppard has worked for the Oakland Fire Department for 16 years, beginning as firefighter and advancing to Battalion Chief, a position he’s held since 2010.

Adrian Sheppard has been hired as Richmond’s new fire chief

Among his accomplishments in Oakland, Sheppard updated OFD’s Fire Training Center into a modern, multimedia facility and developed the first annual system to ensure department trainings were accomplished. He also organized Oakland’s “Youth Uprising” program that helps young people gain job skills, and also mentored department members.

Sheppard was previously an officer in the U.S. Air Force and possesses a Master of Science Degree in Leadership, Disaster Preparedness and Executive Fire Leadership, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Aeronautics.

“I am confident that the community will enjoy working with Chief Sheppard, and that he will continue the legacy of strong leadership in the Richmond Fire Department,” Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay stated in his weekly newsletter.

Banks, who grew up and resides in Richmond, says he is retiring to spend more time with his family. He said nine candidates recently interviewed for his job. Banks became interim chief in 2004 and was appointed as permanent chief in 2006.