WOODSTOCK — The City of Woodstock has announced the retirement of Woodstock Fire & Rescue Chief Dave Soumas. Chief Soumas has served the citizens of Woodstock as a member of the Woodstock Fire Department since 1988. In his 34 years of service, Soumas led the department in significant advancements and milestones.
Dave Soumas was hired in November 1988 as a Firefighter/EMT. He was promoted to Sergeant/Driver Engineer in December 1994 and Captain/Fire Marshal in July 1998. Just four months later, he was promoted to Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal. He has served as Fire Chief for the City of Woodstock since 2009. In his distinguished career in public safety, Chief Soumas earned multiple National Board of Fire Service professional qualifications. He earned an Arson Investigation Certificate from Georgia Public Safety Training Center where he received an award for academic excellence.
As the longest tenured chief in city history, Soumas has advanced the capabilities of Woodstock’s Fire Department by establishing special units including the Swiftwater Rescue Team, the Bike Team, and the Technical Rope Team. In his time as Chief, Soumas ensured every member of the department received Basic Life Support certification with the State of Georgia and introduced two rescue trucks. As Assistant Chief, Soumas oversaw the building of Fire Station 14 in 2001 and the purchase of City of Woodstock’s $1M ladder truck.
In 2015, Chief Soumas secured an Insurance Services Office rating of 1 for the City of Woodstock, the highest score awarded. Of the over 27,000 fire departments nationwide, Woodstock is one of only 456 departments who have earned an ISO rating of 1 indicating the highest level of fire protection for citizens and property owners.
“In this day and age, it isn’t common anymore for someone to spend 34 years with the same organization such as Chief Soumas has with the City of Woodstock,” said City Manager Jeff Moon. “His dedication to the department and this community have been exemplary. I have enjoyed working with Dave for almost 15 years now and will miss seeing him every day. I certainly wish him many years of happiness and enjoyment and he enters this next phase of his life. Well done, Chief.”
Under his leadership, Woodstock Fire Department has implemented a state-of-the-art software system utilizing mobile data terminals in all department vehicles, firefighters have been issued two full sets of gear which protecting them from environmental hazards, and thermal imaging cameras have been deployed with every self-contained breathing apparatus.
“The success of our Fire Department is a product of its fantastic leadership. Chief Dave Soumas has served Woodstock in the Fire Department for more than three decades. His constant dedication to his fire fighters, and to the constituents he serves, is evident in everything he does,” said Mayor Michael Caldwell. “His focus is always on our citizens, and his work bears that fruit in the form of a service-oriented, excellent department. Chief, on behalf of our entire city: We are honored to call you one of our own, and your service to our city will echo in the Woodstock Fire Department for generations of firefighters to come. Thank you for your service, sir.”
Chief Soumas’ last day with the Woodstock Fire Department will be April 30th, 2023.