JCC Fire Chief Tal Luton to Retire This Summer

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Tal Luton (Courtesy James City County)
Tal Luton (Courtesy James City County)

After a more than 35-year career that saw him rise from firefighter to James City County fire chief, Tal Luton has announced he will retire July 1.

In an email to county staff members, he said he has thought about the future “quite a bit over the past few months” and that he wants to spend more time with his family.

“I will miss the one thing that makes our department the greatest, and that is all of you, the people that make the department,” he wrote.

Luton joined the department in 1980 as a firefighter at the Grove station. By 1994, he was a district chief and shift commander, positions he held until 1998 when he became the emergency medical services manager and public information officer for the department.

In 2003, he became acting deputy chief and then deputy fire chief in June 2004 when Willie Howlett retired. He was named chief in August 2005. He is the first person to rise from the ranks of firefighter to chief in the department’s history, according to his profile on the James City County website.