Virginia Beach

Va. Beach honoring the life of former fire chief

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) -- Virginia Beach is honoring a leader's legacy Friday afternoon.

Former Virginia Beach Fire Department Chief Harry Diezel passed away earlier this month. Diezel served as chief for 23 years, from 1974 to 1997.

Department officials say Diezel was responsible for helping secure the funding for development of the Urban Search and Rescue Team -- which is now Virginia Task Force 2. 

The task force has responded to provide aid in the aftermath of severe weather events including hurricanes Michael and Florence.

Current Fire Chief David Hutcheson said in a statement, "Those of us who were fortunate enough to have had him as our chief have lost a mentor and father figure."

Officials say Diezel did not want the big, formal funeral usually arranged for chiefs.

The fire department is hosting a "Celebration of Life" ceremony at the training center at 1 p.m.

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