Robert J. Zoldos II comes to the City of Durham after his appointment as our City’s ninth Fire Chief and has been in the position since November 13, 2018. Prior to joining our City, Chief Zoldos had over 31 years of fire experience including service with Fairfax City, Loudoun County and Fairfax County in Virginia.
With the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, Chief Zoldos served almost 25 years and in all ranks up to and including Deputy Fire Chief. His final field assignment was as the commander of one of the three operational shifts where he led over 420 personnel. Previously, Chief Zoldos had the honor of serving as the Commander of the world-renowned Urban Search and Rescue Team, Virginia Task Force One (VATF-1)/ U.S.A. SAR Team One (USA-1). VATF-1/USA-1 is one of 28 United States FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Teams (US&R). VATF-1/USA-1 is one of only two domestic teams qualified by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for international deployment. Chief Zoldos has been certified to serve in seven different positions on the team and was selected by FEMA to serve as a Task Force Leader Instructor for the nation.
Chief Zoldos was the Provost Honor Award graduate from the Northern Virginia Community College’s Fire Science Associate’s Degree Program. He attained a Bachelor of Arts from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA) with honors from George Mason University. Chief Zoldos was GMU’s Alumni of the Year for the Department of Public and International Affairs and awarded the Wayne F. Anderson Award for Distinguished Public Service in 2010. He is a graduate of the West Point Leadership Course for Public Safety Officers (2006) and the Leadership Fairfax Institute (2015) where he was selected as the “Dux” of the class by his peers.
Chief Zoldos is happily married to his wife of more than 20 years, Sherri. He is a proud father of two children, Kathleen and Bobby. He formerly lived in the town of Lovettsville, Virginia, where he served on the Town Council and for three terms as Mayor.