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James City County names Acting Fire Chief effective May 1

Date: April 12, 2005
Contact: Ruth Richey, Communications Specialist

Phone: (757) 253-6864


James City County's Deputy Fire Chief Tal Luton has been named Acting Fire Chief effective May 1.


County Administrator Sandy Wanner announced the appointment to temporarily fill the vacancy left by departing Fire Chief Richard Miller. Wanner said the County will conduct an internal search for the new chief, with the results expected to be announced by mid-June.


"I am confident that Tal Luton will effectively lead the Fire Department during this period of transition," Wanner said. "The County is fortunate to have employees who have made longtime, professional commitments to serving the community. Tal is an asset to James City County, as was evidenced by his exemplary performance during Hurricane Isabel and its aftermath."


Luton has held increasingly responsible positions through the County's succession management program. He started with the department in 1980 as a firefighter at the Grove Station. After promotion to Lieutenant in 1983 and later Captain, he worked 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, Luton was named Acting Deputy Chief and then Deputy Fire Chief in June 2004 after the retirement of Willie Howlett.


Richard Miller was hired in 1980 as Assistant Fire Chief. He became Acting Fire Chief in March 1990 and was appointed Fire Chief to succeed longtime Fire Chief Garland Woody in September 1990. While Miller's retirement is effective May 31, he is currently using accumulated leave. Miller is leaving to become a contractor for a national homeland security firm.

The Fire Department has 96 full-time and five part-time firefighters and handles more than 7,000 calls annually.


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