Travelers Rest fire chief announces retirement

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. — After serving the city for nearly three decades, Travelers Rest Fire Chief Richard Johnson has announced plans for his retirement.

Joining the city as a public safety officer in the late 80s, Johnson, who is also the head of the town's building code department, will have served more than 28 years when his retirement becomes effective on Dec. 28. He became the fire chief in 1998.

"Chief Johnson has been a tremendously valuable employee of the city," said Dianna Turner, city administrator. "Under his leadership, the Travelers Rest Fire Dept. has modernized, lowered its ISO rating, assisted the city in the annexation of Furman University, and completed a new fire station."

"I'm grateful for all the people that have let me serve under them during my time with the city," Johnson said. "You truly couldn't ask for a better group."

According to Johnson, he's ready to turn his attention to volunteer work, starting with coordinating disaster assistance teams through Samaritan's Purse to be deployed in recently flooded parts of the state.

Johnson's replacement has not been announced.