VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia Beach Emergency Medical Services Chief Edward M. Brazle has announced he will retire at the end of the year.

“I am very appreciative to Chief Brazle for his service to the City of Virginia Beach during an exceptional time for EMS and our greater coastal city,” said City Manager Patrick Duhaney in a statement, “from the opening of new headquarters and training facility to the ‘Vaccinate VB’ initiative that helped our residents fight COVID-19. I wish him well in the future.”

Brazle joined Virginia Beach EMS as a volunteer with the Kempsville Volunteer Rescue Squad in 1990 while on active duty as a naval officer. He served in several positions with the rescue squad, including captain and president.

After leaving the Navy in 1996, he was hired as the regulation and enforcement coordinator, and later advanced to the division chief level. Brazle completed tours as chief of operations, support services and administration divisions.

Before being appointed to EMS department chief in June 2016, he held a leading role in various initiatives, including the creation of the continuous quality improvement program, the integration of career and volunteer medics, deployment of automated external defibrillators on police cars, advanced life support capability on fire engines, new station construction and the air medical program.

Brazle was named to the city of Virginia Beach Employee Hall of Fame in 2013.

Acting Deputy Chief Bruce Nedelka, who has received the Tidewater EMS Council’s R.C. Dailey Award for Excellence in EMS, has been appointed interim chief and will oversee the operations of EMS during this time.

Duhaney will lead a national search to fill this position over the next few months.