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Retiring James City County Fire Chief Tal Luton’s temporary successor is a man who has been with the department for more than 10 years.
County Administrator Bryan Hill announced Friday that Deputy Chief Ryan Ashe will serve as the fire department’s interim chief effective immediately.
Ashe, an Oklahoma State University graduate, joined the fire department in 2003 and was promoted to deputy chief in July 2013.
He has completed several trainings and programs related to his field, is a member of the Virginia Task Force 2 Urban Search and Rescue team and is an adjunct instructor with the Virginia Department of Fire Programs.
“Chief Ashe has demonstrated he has the ability to lead the organization, as we move forward with our process, we as a team will support Ryan during this period of transition and I am honored to have numerous competent employees who can seamlessly transition into greater roles that better our citizens in James City County,” Hill said in a news release.
Outgoing chief Luton announced his retirement from the department in April, saying he had thought about the future “quite a bit over the past few months” and wanted to spend more time with his family.
Luton spent 35 years with the James City County Fire Department, first serving as a firefighter and gradually moving into higher-ranking positions such as acting deputy chief and deputy chief in the early 2000s.
He replaced Willie Howlett as deputy chief in 2004 and was named chief in August 2005.