Abilene Fire Department Chief Larry Bell Retires After 35 Years of Public Service
After 35 years with the City of Abilene Fire Department and public service to the citizens of Abilene, Larry Bell, Abilene Fire Department Fire Chief, has announced his retirement. His final day with the department will be May 31, 2018.
Larry started with the Department in 1983 as a firefighter. He ascended the ranks of the department becoming Lieutenant in 1990, Captain in 1996, Battalion Chief in 1999 and Deputy Chief in 2012 before being appointed Fire Chief on January 5, 2016. His innovative and forward thinking has guided the Department to much success and set a new standard for the Fire Department. During his tenure, the Abilene Fire Department has seen many significant accomplishments including: design and construction of four bond projects: the new maintenance facility, fire stations 3, 4, and 7, as well as design of the training facility, initiated cancer prevention and health/wellness programs for the Department, led the Department through paramedic program accreditation, increased staffing, created the Apparatus Replacement Fund, led the initiative for numerous technology advancements of the record management and reporting systems, increased the professionalism of the Department, and increased community involvement throughout the Department by outreach and collaboration with numerous community partners including United Way, Dyess AFB, Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
“It has been my goal to retire when the Fire Department is performing at the highest level, when good leadership is in place, and when it is personally right for me and my family,” Larry said. “These consideration have all converged and it is time for me to hang up my hat.”
City Manager Robert Hanna expressed deep gratitude and appreciation for the service Chief Bell has provided the City and the citizens of Abilene, “Chief Bell is an incredible leader that has served with honor and distinction and will be greatly missed.”