Office of the Fire Chief
Jethro H. Piland, III
Jethro H. Piland, III, is the Chief of Fire & EMS for Hanover County and a 32-year veteran of the Department. Chief Piland manages 350 career employees and volunteers, and a 28-million-dollar budget. Chief Piland served on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Fire Chiefs Association from 2014 until 2019, acted as Chairman of the Reynolds Community College EMS Advisory Committee, and served on the Governor's Emergency Medical Services Advisory Board.
Chief Piland is an alumnus of Virginia Military Institute, where he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology before moving on to Virginia Tech, where he earned a Master's degree in Public Administration & Public Affairs.
Chief Piland received the Hanover Fire-EMS Line of Duty Performance Award given for a water rescue during Tropical Storm Gaston in 2004. In 2010, he was awarded Honor Graduate by the Virginia Department of Fire Programs for academic excellence in the Law Enforcement School for Fire Marshals. Chief Piland is certified as a National Registered Paramedic and trained in Counter Narcotics and Terrorism Operational Medical Support.
In addition to his services to the Hanover Fire-EMS department, Chief Piland is a Certified Flight Paramedic with VCU Health.
Assistant to the Chief
Cindy has over 25 years of experience as an Administrative Assistant, with her most recent role being the Administrative Assistant to the Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Cindy provides administrative support to ensure the efficient operation of the office. She Supports all members through a variety of tasks related to the organization and communication. She is vital to our success and helps the Department improve efficiency. Cindy was born and raised in Henrico, Virginia, and now resides in Chesterfield.
Christopher J. Anderson
Deputy Fire Chief
W. Blake Stephens
Assistant Chief, Community Engagement
Walter Blake Stephens has served the Hanover community for over 15 years with a diverse and extensive background. His career in public safety began in Chesterfield County as a volunteer member in 2001. In 2008 his career with Hanover County began, where he earned promotions from firefighter to captain and now assistant chief. After serving in operations as an engine company officer, he was promoted and transitioned into the fire marshal’s office. In his current position, Chief Stephens oversees Community Engagement, which includes Information Technology, Public Information, Emergency Management, and the Office of the Fire Marshal.
Blake Stephens obtained his undergraduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and his Master’s degree from the University of Richmond. He is a certified national registered paramedic and one of the department’s RSI (Rapid Sequence Intubation) medics, and he maintains his investigator/inspector training requirements. Additionally, Blake Stephens is a certified law enforcement officer under Title 27 of the Code of Virginia. He obtained this certification through the Virginia Fire Marshals Academy. The combination of emergency medical and law enforcement training has allowed Blake Stephens to serve as a tactical medic for the Hanover Sheriff’s High-Risk Entry Team.
David C. Johnston
Assistant Chief, Administration
David “DJ” Johnston is the Assistant Chief of Administration and Training for Hanover Fire-EMS. He began his career as an Emergency Medical Technician and quickly realized his passion for emergency medicine and furthered his education by becoming a Nationally Registered Paramedic. Joining Hanover Fire-EMS in January of 2007, he has been blessed to serve in many functions throughout the county and has cherished the relationships he has built. Working as a Lieutenant in Operations, serving as the EMS Captain, Battalion Chief in Operations, and Public Information Officer for Hanover Fire-EMS have all been valuable experiences in learning the many functions of the fire service. Chief Johnston has also served on the Technical Rescue Team for many years and as the Chair of the Central Virginia Flammable Liquids Task Force. Chief Johnston works with the Human Resources Division, Team Logistics, the Training Team, and the Budget. Chief Johnston is very thankful for his family and their steadfast support of his career with Hanover Fire-EMS.
B. Wade Sander
Assistant Chief, Operations
Chief Sanders has served with Hanover since June 1999 and has filled many positions within the department, including leading our Training Division as the Battalion Chief. Chief Sanders has been an integral part of building the Incident Management Team. He began his service to others as a US Army Medic and was proud to continue service with Hanover for the last 23 years. He is especially proud of his family, including his wife, Danielle, and his daughters, Abigail and Cassidy.