Abilene fire chief retiring after 35 years on the job

Larry Bell speaking March 9 at the dedication of the newly built Fire Station No. 7.

Abilene Fire Chief Larry Bell is retiring after 35 years on the job.

Mayor Anthony Williams made the announcement Friday morning during a ribbon cutting ceremony for Fire Station No. 7.

Bell's retirement is effective May 31.

“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,” Bell said. “These consideration have all converged and it is time for me to hang up my hat.”

Bell started his career with the department in January 1983 at original Fire Station No 7. He became a Lieutenant in 1990, Captain in 1996, Battalion Chief in 1999 and Deputy Chief in 2012 before being appointed Fire Chief on January 5, 2016.

“Chief Bell is an incredible leader that has served with honor and distinction and will be greatly missed,” said City Manager Robert Hanna.

The city dedicated the new Fire Station No. 7 and No. 3 on Friday. The stations were built with money from the $11.2 bond proposal passed in 2015.

Williams said the new fire stations are "a response to equipping the men and women who protect and serve us."

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