Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue chief to retire

Gary Yew

Gary Yew, chief of Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue, will retire Sept. 1, according a news release from Shenandoah County. Yew served as chief for 14 years, beginning his tenure in February 2002.

Prior to his role as chief, Yew worked for Virginia’s Forestry Department as one of Shenandoah County’s assigned forest technician for 17 years.

A native of Woodstock, Yew said he will miss the camaraderie he felt with his co-workers.

“Certainly (I’ll miss) the people I work with,” he said. “The fire and rescue department is just full of hard working, dedicated people and it’s just such a pleasure and honor to work in an environment like that. That’s the culture that exists here and I know I’m going to miss that.”

Yew said that there wasn’t an incident or development that influenced his decision; it was exclusively instinctive.

“It was probably several weeks ago,” he aid. “Many people have told me over the years that your gut just tells you when the time’s right and my gut was just telling me that.”

Yew also served as Woodstock’s Volunteer Fire Department for 33 years, 15 of those as volunteer chief.

While retiring from service to the county, Yew plans to continue working, according to the release. He has accepted a position with Old Dominion Security Services, based in Richmond, which provides security services to Valley Health. He will work on emergency- and safety-related issues for Valley Health’s hospitals in Warren, Shenandoah and Page counties.

Deputy Chief of Operations Tim Williams will serve as chief on an interim basis while the process of selecting Yew’s permanent replacement is finalized.

Yew said his last day working for the county will likely be Aug. 19 and he will start at his new job Aug. 22. He will continue to work out of Woodstock.

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or