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Montgomery County Women's History Archive:

40 Women of Historical Significance in Montgomery County

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Mary Beth MIchosMary Beth Michos
(1945- )


First woman uniformed officer and Emergency Medical Services Officer in Montgomery County Department of Fire and Rescue Services

Current Chief, Department of Fire and Rescue of Prince William County, Virginia


Mary Beth Michos was born in Bluefield, West Virginia in 1945. She lived in W. Hazleton, Pennsylvania until she attended nursing school at Geisinger Hospital School of Nursing, in Danville, Pennsylvania. After receiving her nursing science diploma, she worked in several intensive care units and critical care units. In 1970, Michos was appointed as Head Nurse of a mobile care unit project called the Heartmobile. While in this position, she developed the first pre-hospital advanced life support training program in Maryland and the metropolitan Washington area.

In 1973, Michos was hired by the Montgomery County Department of Fire and Rescue Services to work as an Emergency Medical Services Officer. She was the first woman ever to serve in this position in Montgomery County. As the Emergency Medical Services Officer, she helped develop and implement the Mobile Intensive Care Unit Paramedic Program for the fire-rescue services. Michos held this post until 1986, when Michos was assigned as Fire/Rescue Training Officer. In this new position, she was responsible for supervising and coordinating fire and rescue training programs for 800 career and 400 volunteers for the nineteen fire and rescue corporations in Montgomery County.

In June 1989, Michos was promoted to Assistant Chief and assigned Chief of the Emergency Medical Services and Coordinator of four specialty teams. In addition to her duties in these areas, she filled in as Operations Duty Chief. She also was a charter and active member of the Montgomery County Hazardous Incidents Response Team, a member of the NFPO Hazardous Materials Technical Committee, and chair of the task group for EMS response to HAZMAT incidents.

Michos was Assistant Chief in Montgomery County when she left to assume the position of Chief of the Department of Fire and Rescue, Prince William County (VA). Currently, Chief Michos leads the 300 person career department which provides support to 12 volunteer companies in Prince William County. She serves as chair of the Fire and Rescue Association, the policy making body for the fire and rescue service. 

Michos, an active member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), serves as a member of its Metro Chiefs Section and Volunteer Section. She was past Chairperson of the IAFC’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Section. She is nationally known for her work with the American Heart Association. She serves on the National Heart Attack Alert Council, and she is a member of the Metropolitan Washington Board for the American Heart Association. Michos was a member of the Executive Board of the NIH-National Heart Attack Alert Program, and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NRRMT). She also serves as Chair of the Virginia Chiefs Association EMS Committee.

In addition, Michos also serves on several National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) committees. She is also a former member of the Commission on Fire Accreditation International. In 1997, Chief Michos received a fellowship to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She is also working on a masters degree in Organizational Leadership and Innovation at Marymount University.


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