Business, Police/Fire, Politics

Baltimore County Fire Chief Rund to retire in July

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TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski on Monday made two senior leadership announcements.

Baltimore County Fire Department Chief Joanne Rund on Monday announced her plans to retire from County service, effective July 2024. Additionally, Kimberly Routson will serve as acting director of Government Affairs. Routson will succeed Jennifer Aiosa who has departed from her role as of director of Government Affairs to pursue a new opportunity with the Moore-Miller administration.

“Chief Rund broke barriers as Baltimore County’s first permanently appointed female fire chief, and her demonstrated leadership, commitment to the department, and tireless dedication to keeping our communities safe will have a lasting impact,” said County Executive Olszewski. “I wish Chief Rund well in her future endeavors and am thankful for her outstanding service to Baltimore County and its residents.”

The first permanent female fire chief in Baltimore County’s history, Rund joined Baltimore County government in April 2019 after serving 32 years with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services. Under her leadership, Baltimore County has taken vital efforts to streamline and the structure of the department and led efforts to modernize work flow and processes to reflect best practices. In addition, Rund led and coordinated the department’s emergency response efforts throughout multiple major incidents, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse.

“Leading and contributing to this department’s growth and successes has been the privilege of a lifetime and I am profoundly grateful to the County Executive, the administration, County Council members, and beyond for your trust and support throughout my tenure,” Rund said. “As I prepare to turn the page to a new chapter in my career, I am confident that collectively, the Department will continue to realize its unlimited potential in the years ahead.”

Prior to joining fire service in 1987, Rund served as a volunteer emergency services provider (EMS) in Carroll County. She holds numerous certifications in the field of health and safety, has obtained the National Fire Academy’s Advanced Safety Officer Program certification, and serves as associate faculty at the University of Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, and Region III coordinator for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Advocacy programs.

Baltimore County will conduct a comprehensive search for Chief Rund’s successor.

As acting director of Government Affairs, Routson will supervise the office that sets the administration’s legislative strategy and coordinates with members of the Baltimore County Council, the Maryland General Assembly, and Maryland’s Congressional Delegation and other federal partners. Routson currently serves as the County’s deputy director of Government Affairs and previously served in senior public affairs roles with Visit Baltimore, The Job Opportunities Task Force, and members of the Maryland House of Delegates. Routson holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and a master’s degree from the University of Baltimore. She succeeds Jennifer Aiosa, who is departing to pursue a new opportunity with the Moore-Miller administration.

Prior to her role as director of Government Affairs, Aiosa also served as Baltimore County’s chief sustainability officer, where helped lead the County’s efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change and to promote enterprise-wide sustainability initiatives.

“From her efforts to promote more sustainable communities to her work advancing critical legislative priorities in Annapolis, Jenn has been a key member of our team and an important part of our success in building a better Baltimore County, and we wish her the best in her next steps,” Olszewski added.

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