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By Bryan Marshall

Tom Jump is returning to his roots after being named the new chief of the Dry Ridge Fire Department.

He was unanimously approved for the position during the March 19 Dry Ridge City Council meeting.

Jump began his duties April 1.

“When they called me, it kind of caught me by surprise,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting to hear anything from them yet. I know there was other very qualified people who applied for the job so I really appreciate them giving me the opportunity. I spent most of my life doing something with the fire department.”

The 61-year-old got his start as a fire fighter as a member of the then-all volunteer DRFD.

During his 25 years with Dry Ridge, Jump served as assistant chief for about 15 years and chief for one year in the 1980s.

He retired as a lieutenant from Lexington Fire Department after 26 years in 2010.

But, after being away, Jump realized how much he missed his calling.

“I felt like I still had some fire department still left in me,” he said. “I felt like I could add to the department or at least I hope I can.”

Jump has been volunteering at DRFD for the past year.

He replaces Robert Bruin, who left Dry Ridge at the end of the February 2011 to become chief of the Georgetown Fire Department.

Bruin was head of the Dry Ridge Fire Department for four years before his resignation. Assistant Chief Joe Jamison served as interim chief for more than a year.