Chief Tal Luton
Fire Chief Tal Luton is the first JCC chief to rise from the ranks of firefighter to the top position in the history of the department.
Tal started with the department in 1980 as a firefighter at the Grove Station. After promotion to Lieutenant in 1983 and later Captain, he worked as a company commander at Station 4 on Olde Towne Road. In 1994, he became District Chief and was assigned as the Shift Commander for "A" shift until 1998. He then was named Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Manager as well as Public Information Officer (PIO) for the department.
In 2003, Tal was named Acting Deputy Chief and then Deputy Fire Chief in June 2004 after the retirement of Willie Howlett. Tal was named Fire Chief in August 2005. Tal holds Virginia certifications as an Emergency Medical Technician, Fire Instructor IV, Fire Inspector, Emergency Planner, Building Construction for Fire Suppression Forces, Public Information Officer and in Hazardous Material Operations.
Tal has attended executive level residence courses at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md., with studies in Public Budgeting, Management of Change in Organizations, Incident Command, and Strategic Executive Planning.
Tal is an active member of the Virginia State Fire Chiefs Association, International Association of Fire Chiefs, Virginia Emergency Management Association, Southeastern Association of Fire Chiefs and the National Fire Protection Association.
Tal started his fire service career when he joined the Thalia Volunteer Fire Company in Virginia Beach at age 16, following in the footsteps of his father who was a volunteer firefighter. From 1969 to 1981, he held the ranks of Lieutenant, Captain, Assistant Chief and Chief as well as serving as President of the volunteer department. His volunteer service was interrupted from 1972 to 1976 when he served the U.S. States Air Force. After discharge from military service, Tal studied fire science at Tidewater Community College and attended Christopher Newport University.