The Virginia Fire Services Board’s Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2010 to acknowledge individuals who have made major contributions to Virginia’s fire services and have achieved significant accomplishments in their careers.
Chief Burch’s career in the fire and rescue services has followed a long family history, as both Rick’s grandfather and father were members of the Richmond Fire Bureau.
After completing a tour in Vietnam, Rick continued to volunteer in Hanover County while pursuing a career position with the Richmond Fire Bureau. After spending several years in Richmond, Rick was promoted to Deputy Fire Chief with Hanover County where he remained until 1996. In 1996, Rick accepted his current position as Fire and Rescue Chief for the County of Roanoke.
During his tenure in Roanoke County, Chief Burch focused his efforts towards the improvements of staffing levels and operational capabilities. Under Chief Burch’s tenure the department received six regional Emergency Medical Services awards, three Governor’s EMS awards along with fourteen Governor’s Fire Services Awards.
In his efforts to reach across regional and state-wide departmental lines to solve public safety concerns, Chief Burch received two awards from the Virginia Association of Counties on behalf of Roanoke County.
Throughout his career, Chief Burch has been a leader in creating local and regional partnerships to provide greater fire and emergency response services within the Commonwealth.
With 42 years of experience in emergency response and over 30 years in leadership and management, with roles as Past President of the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association and of the Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs, Chief Burch has had a large impact in Virginia’s fire services.