ATHENS, Ala. – James Hand will serve as interim fire chief upon the retirement of Athens Fire and Rescue Chief Bryan Thornton, according to the department.
The department says Thornton is retiring at the end of this month. Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks made the announcement on May 18th.
Marks say Hand is starting his 19th year with the department. He has served as a firefighter, driver, inspector, and the past seven years as fire marshal.
“We have a great department, and we want to continue to improve and provide the best services we possibly can,” Hand said. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve in the interim position.”
Marks said the city plans to open the application process for chief in July. By state law, the Athens City Council makes the decision on who will serve. The Council will have to confirm the position in November since this is a municipal election year.
The Council confirms several positions, such as fire chief, the November after a municipal election.