Assistant Chief of Support Services
Assistant Fire Chief Ryalls started his fire service career as a member of the Front Royal Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department, Front Royal, Virginia, in 1968 while still in high school. After graduation in 1969, he attended computer training in Falls Church, Virgina before joining the US Navy as a Hospital Corpsman in 1970. After basic training he was assigned to Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, VA until 1973 when he transferred to Cheatham Annex to attend additional training. While here, Chief Ryalls joined the williamsburg Volunteer Fire Department and served in a variety of positions including Squad Sergeant, EMS Captain, Vice President and President of that organization.
In 1975, he was one of the original students in the first Cardiac Technician Class held on the Peninsula at Riverside Hospital in Newport News, VA. As one of the 13 original CT’s with WFD, he was on the first recorded “Save” of a cardiac arrest in Williamsburg in 1976.
In March of 1978, Chief Ryalls left active duty, joined the reserves and started his employment with James City County Fire/EMS on April 3, 1978, as the first fully paid medic with the department. On May 16, 1978, he responded on the first official EMS Incident in the County for an emergency transport to MCV in Richmond. He was promoted to EMS Supervisor in 1985 and re-graded to EMS Captain in 1990.
Chief Ryalls was promoted to serve as the first EMS District Chief in 1995 and served in that role until 2000 when he was re-assigned as a shift commander within the Operations Division. He has also served as the head of the Training Division, Administration Division and Emergency Management Division before returning to the EMS Division to oversee the new EMS billing program for the department. In the 2009 reorganization of the department, Chief Ryalls assumed the responsibility for the Support Services Division which has oversight for Fire Training, EMS Administration, Operations and EMS Training as well as Special Event Planning and developing Target Hazard Preplans for operational units. He also serves as the department’s primary Public Information Officer (PIO) and works closely with the various news media outlets.
Chief Ryalls was promoted to Assistant Fire Chief in April 2013 and assumed the additional responsibilities of working with the Human Resources Department to hire and promote staff as well as handling personnel management issues including policy interpretation, conflict resolution and disciplinary actions.
Chief Ryalls was the first department member to graduate from the four year Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland in March 2007. His education preceding this achievement includes a BA degree in Human Services Administration from St. Leo College 1984. He graduated from the Paramedic Program at MCV in Richmond, Virginia in 1989.
Chief Ryalls currently serves on multiple local, regional and state EMS committees and as an Adjunct Instructor in several EMS programs at the National Fire Academy.