Meet Lexington’s new Fire Chief

Meet Lexington’s new Fire Chief

Fired Up

Lexington’s new Fire Chief is Jason G. Wells

BY KRISTINA ROSEN

Jason G. Wells is Lexington’s new fire chief. Chief Wells is a 25-year veteran of the Lexington Fire Department and served as Assistant Chief of Administration prior to taking on this new position. Wells replaces Chief Kristin Chilton who retired in October.

Wells says, “When I was in college in the mid 1990s, I hit a point where I was frustrated and looking for direction and meaning. I found that meaning in the fire service, and it has been more rewarding than I could have ever dreamed.”

Having followed his father into the Lexington Fire Department, he then spent the bulk of his career “on Engine 4, which is located on Jefferson St. That was certainly one of my most rewarding assignments. It is a very busy company in a diverse area, and it felt like a true ‘neighborhood’ fire house.”

He continued to work his way up in the Division through numerous roles, he adds, “After being promoted out of that company, I was able to serve in a number of administrative roles prior to being named Chief.”

His respect for team work is clear when he recalls a fire on Lexington’s west side. The crew forced entry, and resuscitated an individual who was able to walk out of the hospital just a few days later. What he remembers is, “I wasn’t at that fire, I actually listened to it from the kitchen of my firehouse. What makes that fire meaningful is that the crew members of that engine had both served with me for a number of years, and I hope that in some way I helped prepare them for that moment. It was at that point that I realized that my legacy, and indeed each of our legacies, is much less about what we do individually, but how we affect those around us.

Not everyone knows the depth and breadth of service Lexington’s Fire Department provides. “From smoke alarm installations and child safety seat installations to our extremely successful Community Paramedicine program, there are numerous ways that we try to reach out and meet the citizens where they are. We also have a number of ways that we try to educate the public about what we do, including our Citizens Fire Academy and our Brenda Cowan camps.”

As Chief Wells begins his new role, he is most excited to be back in the stations. “I think one of the things that we have most missed out on over the last nine months or so is getting around to visit the firefighters. I am very excited to be able to get back out into the stations and visit with the men and women who are out in the streets delivering service each day.”

Chief Wells takes on his new role as Lexington Fire Chief in January 2021.

 

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This article also appears on page 8 of the January 2021 print edition of ace magazine.

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