Columbia, SC (WLTX) A new SC Fire Academy Superintendent Chief of Training has been announced.

Former Lugoff Fire Chief Dennis Ray has accepted and he will also serve as Assistant State Fire Marshall.

For seven years, Chief Ray has served as the Lugoff Fire-Rescue chief.

“It was a privilege to serve as Lugoff’s Fire Chief and I am leaving a well-organized, efficient, and respected department,” Ray said. “I cannot express enough of my appreciation to the Board of Commissioners and the firefighters for supporting me during my tenure. Many in our profession never see the rank of fire chief, so I have truly been blessed. I have had the wonderful experience of leading one of state’s premier and progressive fire departments. The firefighters at Lugoff are second to none. I will miss each one of them and their families” Lugoff Fire Chief Dennis Ray stated.

The Academy, located off Monticello Road in Columbia, provides firefighter certifications to municipal and industrial firefighters on site as well as locally within each county.

“This is a once in a career opportunity for me to lead an incredibly talented team at the Academy and to serve as an Assistant State Fire Marshal,” he said. “I am honored to have been chosen for this crucial leadership position ensuring we provide our firefighters throughout South Carolina modern, progressive, and standardized training to better prepare us for the various fire and rescue demands of today’s profession.”

Lugoff Fire Board Chairman, Ken Truesdale, offers his continued support and best wishes.

“We look forward to working with Chief Dennis Ray in his new role,” Truesdale said. “I'm honored to have had the opportunity to work with what we would consider to be the very best in leadership in the fire service. Although we are sad to see Chief Ray go, we know he will lead the State Fire Academy, just as he's done with Lugoff Fire Rescue, to the top. The Lugoff Fire Department Board of Commissioners is committed to maintaining the integrity and professionalism Chief Ray put in place during the past seven years.”

Chief Ray will serve as Fire Chief until Nov. 27. Lugoff Battalion Chief Chris Spitzer will serve as Interim Fire Chief.