Vance Riley retires as Victoria fire chief

Victoria Fire Department Chief Vance Riley

After more than 14 years as fire chief, Vance Riley is retiring from the Victoria Fire Department.

Riley confirmed his intent to retire, effective Jan. 31, but declined to elaborate until Thursday.

Riley was hired in April 1995 and was tasked with merging the city's fire and EMS departments.

Since then, he's led the department's more than 100 employees to respond to emergency calls throughout the city and county.

Victoria County Fire Marshall Ron Pray said Riley was instrumental in integrating the city and county operations, as well.

"I remember when I came here, I had a meeting with Vance, and he took me into his office," said Pray, who's worked with Riley since November 2008. "He was gracious and told me, 'I'll provide you any help I can.'"

Pray said the city and the county have had good working relationships, and he expects that to continue.

"I know that Vance has trained the people in the Victoria Fire Department to fully be able to respond to any of the community's emergencies," Pray said. "So once he steps down, until they find somebody else to become the chief, the community's going to be safe because he's trained them to do their jobs."

In February, Riley was re-appointed to a six-year term on the governor's Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Advisory Council, where he'd served the previous four years.

Riley was also named the council's chairman.