Charles “Chuck” Ryan will begin as chief of the Tucson Fire Department on Sept. 30.

The city of Tucson has selected its 28th fire chief of the Tucson Fire Department.

Charles “Chuck” Ryan will begin on Sept. 30. He replaces Joe Gulotta, who had been serving as the interim chief since January 2018 after Jim Critchley retired.

Gulotta will transition back into his previous position of assistant chief, department spokeswoman Jessica Nolte said.

Ryan has worked in fire service since 1994, a city news release said. He was most recently an assistant fire chief with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department in Virginia, leading the department’s Business Services Bureau.

He has also served as deputy fire chief and battalion chief.

According to the release, a “competitive, nationwide search and complete assessment process was held to fill the chief position.”

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

The finalists were each interviewed by several panels. They also answered questions from people including Tucson Fire employees, city stakeholders and neighborhood leaders.

“I am excited about the experience and leadership Chuck brings to the organization and am looking forward to great things for the Fire Department,” City Manager Michael Ortega said in the release.

Contact reporter Gloria Knott at or 573-4235. On Twitter: @gloriaeknott

Metro Producer

Gloria is a Tucson native and attended the University of Arizona. She started at the Star as an apprentice in 2017. Following her apprenticeship, she began freelancing until becoming a full-time reporter and producer after her college graduation in 2018.