RICHMOND, Va. -- It’s an essential city service you rarely get to see. Richmond Fleet Management crews are responsible for keeping Richmond’s first responders and city services rolling.
"We provide equipment for them to do their jobs. From solid waste, picking up trash to the grass being cut, to Richmond Police, and the Sheriff’s department. We make sure they have the equipment they need to do their daily missions," Calvin Chambliss said.
Chambliss oversees the Richmond Fleet Management Department. There are dozens of technicians he wants to make sure are protected from COVID-19 while getting their jobs done.
"We are staying safe by ensuring all of our workers have proper PPE like masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer. We are spraying down all of our equipment prior to us doing repairs" Chambliss said.
To practice social distancing, he moved some technicians to an evening shift.
The work must continue at the department which recently garnered global recognition. Government Fleet magazine named Richmond as one of 2020’s most notable fleets. It was also honored in Governing Magazine’s list of 100 Best Fleets in the Americas.
"We’ve made it four years in a row. Last year we were number 40. The year before that we were in the 60s. This year we are number 11 because we have been implementing so many new practices. They are doing such a great job," Richmond Public Works spokesperson Sharon North said.
Some of the changes include going paperless, a move that saved the city thousands of dollars, creating a fast lane for police officers with vehicle issues so they can get in and out quickly, and developing a safety committee.
North said even during the pandemic, fleet management crews are focused on their mission to keep first responders and other essential city crews ready and well equipped to serve the community.