Stables resigning, Bell named interim fire chief

James Stables and his family after he was sworn in as Chief of the Johnson City Fire Department on Sept. 13, 2017. Stables will resign on Jan. 1, and David Bell has taken over as the Fire Chief on an interim basis. PHOTO BY DAVE ONGIE

City Manager Pete Peterson announced last week that Fire Chief James Stables will resign Jan. 1, and that Johnson City Administrative District Chief David Bell will assume the role of interim fire chief effective last Friday.

“During his tenure, Chief Stables has led tremendous improvements to the Johnson City Fire Department,” Peterson said. “Through educational opportunities, increased training, and restructuring, he brought stability and direction to the department that will serve us well for years to come. We are grateful for his service and wish him much success.”

Bell, a 23-year veteran of the JCFD, has served in his current role for more than two years, overseeing budget, training and grants for the department. He holds a master’s degree in safety, security and emergency management from Eastern Kentucky University and is the first member of the department ever to obtain the fire officer designation from the Commission of Professional Credentialing.

The city will advertise the vacancy and aims to have a permanent chief named by March.


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