Luther moves from fire to public service

After 25 years of unbroken and dedicated public safety service to the citizens of the City of Burnet and Burnet County, Assistant Fire Chief Jim Luther Jr. is leaving Burnet Fire Department to take on his new role as Precinct 1 Commissioner for Burnet County.

Luther joined the Burnet Volunteer Fire Department in 1991 and served as a firefighter, captain and treasurer of that organization over the following seven years. In 1998 he attended the Austin Community College Fire Training Academy in Taylor to improve his knowledge and skills in firefighting. At 36, he was the second oldest in his class, only to fellow Burnet Firefighter Roy Hallmark who was 54.

Both Luther and Hallmark were hired by the City of Burnet in 1999 as the second and third paid firefighters for the city, filling the day time shifts working 40 hour weeks. They moved to 24--hour shifts in 2003 and Jim served as Interim Fire Chief for one year between 2005 and 2006.

Upon the hiring of Chief Mark Ingram in November 2006, Luher was made A-Shift Captain under the organizational restructuring that Ingram implemented. In 2009, as the department reached 30 full time personnel, Luther was promoted to Assistant Chief of Fire Operations, but retained his position as leader and mentor to his A-Shift brothers and sisters.

Luther’s calm demeanor and decisive actions under intense situations were contrary to his “just wing it” mantra. He was always prepared to take the correct action in a profession that can be so unpredictable. Luther always led from the front, mentoring his subordinates by actions, never expecting them to do something he had not done and never forgetting from where he started.

In his short, heart-felt speech on his last day of service, Luther advised his troops, “Don’t be afraid of taking on something new, no matter how old you get or how hard it might be to accomplish.”

Luther sought to be Precinct 1 Commissioner for Burnet County and was elected as the Republican candidate in the May 2016 election and winning the Precinct 1 Commissioner race in November. Luther takes his oath of office for the County on Jan. 1.

“I am really proud of the work that he did for the Burnet Volunteers and Burnet Fire Department,” said Luther's wife Sarah Ann. “He will do great things for the County and Precinct 1”

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