Mayor Linda Gorton made it official today: Jason G. Wells is Lexington’s new fire chief, effective immediately.
In a ceremony this morning, Gorton presented Wells with his new badge, and his father, Jim, pinned it on. The elder Wells, described by his son as his “most influential fire service mentor,” served 27 years in the Lexington Fire Department, retiring as a Battalion Chief.
“The strong tradition of service that runs through the Wells family is the same tradition of service that runs through our fire department,” Gorton said. “Because of that tradition, we have one of the best fire departments in the country, and I have no doubt Chief Wells will build on that tradition. It’s no surprise that, even though we conducted a national search, we found our new fire chief right here.”
Wells moves up to chief from his rank of Assistant Chief of Administration. He is a 25-year veteran of the force who has worked his way up in the Division through numerous assignments, giving him a broad range of experience. He has also served as Assistant Chief of Prevention and Preparedness.
Wells recognizes that he is taking over the Division in challenging times. “We are still battling a worldwide pandemic, we have and will continue to face tough economic times, and calls for social justice have echoed through our community and nation,” he said. “While these times may seem challenging… and they are … we must maintain perspective. Since the inception of the Lexington Fire Department nearly 150 years ago, the members of this great department have witnessed other pandemics, world wars, a great depression, and tremendous social change. Through those times, the Lexington Fire Department has stood strong, always providing selfless service to the members of this great City. Although we have, and will continue to change with the times to best serve Lexington, one thing remains true: the only way to accomplish our mission is to do it together.”
Gorton said that’s the kind of message Lexington needs to hear as citizens continue to struggle with a dangerous pandemic and its impact on the economy.
Wells is taking over from Chief Kristin Chilton, who is retiring.
Wells and his wife, Fay, have one daughter. They are long-time Lexington residents.