On November 29th, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and members of the Howard County Council participated in the official swearing-in ceremony for Fire Chief Louis Winston. Chief Winston was appointed as Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) Chief on September 7th. This afternoon, Chief Winston took his official oath of service surrounded by his family, friends, and colleagues. Photos of the event can be found here.

“Lou Winston is a long-time respected and admired member of our combination fire department, who has risen through the ranks during his 30-year career,” said Ball. “He is a collaborative leader who has the experience to carry on the traditions of our Department while shaping and preparing it for the future. I have complete confidence in his ability to lead a department that is a model and national standard for excellence.”

Chief Winston joined the department on February 12, 1990 and served under seven fire chiefs and six county executives, rising to the rank of Deputy Chief prior to his retirement in January 2020. Winston held a Chief Officer position for more than six years. During that time, he served as a field Battalion Chief and as an Assistant Chief where he managed the Administrative Services Bureau overseeing recruitment, human resources, and the department’s budget. He advocated for, and implemented, resource management principles as well as High Performance CPR initiatives. Winston is passionate about equitable rights and served for over 10 years as the President of the Phoenix Sentinels, an organization committed to improving career opportunities for minorities in the fire service.

“When I retired in January 2020, my commitment and dedication to HCDFRS was far from over,” said Fire Chief Louis Winston. “I’ve devoted 30 years to this department, and I’m grateful to County Executive Ball for the opportunity to continue to serve. I plan to maintain transparency, inclusion, and to enhance collaboration that will bring about new initiatives to keep our community safe. I look forward to increasing our ever-growing community engagement to ensure that a diverse range of voices are encouraged and supported.


Since serving as Fire Chief, Winston continues to prioritize safety within the community through programs such as the Mobile Integrated Community Health (MICH). MICH has been a vital part of Howard County’s vaccination efforts particularly in under serviced communities and for homebound residents. Winston values the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion within the fire service and remains committed to implementing those ideals.

For more information on Chief Winston or the swearing-in ceremony, please contact the Office of Community Outreach and Media Affairs, 410-313-6039.


Scott E


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here