Chiefs of the Department

Since its “official” organization in 1922, the Tryon Fire Department has been directed by 28 different fire chiefs.  From 1922 until 1988 the department held elections, typically every 2 years to determine a new chief.  Until 1979 the department had a tradition of promoting the assistant fire chief and other officers (captain, lieutenant) up one step.  This practice changed in 1979 when Clarence Scoggins was selected to serve as the Chief of the Department for the second time. Chief Scoggins would lead the department until his retirement in 1988.  His eleven years as Chief are the most of any person – paid or volunteer.  Chief Scoggins would also serve as the first Fire Marshal for Polk County. The Tryon Fire Department’s Firefighter of the Year is now known as the Clarence Scoggins Fire Fighter of the Year Award. Both Scoggins and his wife would pay for the prestigious award themselves each year until both passed away.

The department has also had a father/son combination lead the department.  Robert Carroll Scoggins, Sr. was elected Chief in 1971 and served until 1973.  His son, Robert C. Scoggins, Jr. (Bob) would take the reigns some 30 years later and lead the department from 2003 until 2005.

In 1972 Jimmy Lankford joined the Tryon Fire Department as a volunteer and worked his way up to Assistant Chief.  In 1988 the Town of Tryon opted to move the Chief position to a paid position and named Lankford as the first paid chief.  Lankford would serve until his retirement in 2003.  At that time the Town and department opted to return to a volunteer position and Bob Scoggins, who had served as Assistant Fire Chief was elected to the position his father had taken in 1971.

In 2005 the Town of Tryon decided to make the position of Fire Chief a paid position because of population growth, a significant increase in the number of emergency calls of all types and the need to prepare additional reports that were mandated by the state.

Chief Dates of Service
1922-1928 Mr. Hill
1928-1932 W.A. Wilson
1933 B.B. Bishop
1933-1935 W.W. Creasman
1935-1940 Jim Fisher
1940-1942 J.S. Arledge
1943-1947 Homer Arledge
1947-1952 Eb Bishop
1952-1954 Birch Arledge
1954-1956 W.M. Ballew
1956-1958 Wofford Foster
1958-1961 Jack Ford
1961-1963 Sam McClure
1963-1965 Robert Dedmont
1965-1967 Clarence Scoggins
1967-1969 Melvin Phillips
1969-1971 James Cowan
1971-1973 Robert C. Scoggins, Sr. (Carroll)
1973-1975 Robert Earl Arledge
1975-1977 Willie “Roy” Williams
1977-1979 Frank Flynn
1979-1988 Clarence Scoggins
1988-2003 Jimmy Lankford
2003-2005 Robert C. Scoggins, Jr. (Bob)
2005-2006 Michael Coggins
2006-2007 Chris Burleson
2007- January 2017 Joey Davis
January 2017 – July 19,2019 Geoffrey M. Tennant
July 26,2019 – Current James R. Waters