NEOSHO, Mo. — The city of Neosho has hired a new Fire Chief.

Earlier this month the city hired Aaron Houk to take over duties.

Houk is replacing the current Fire Chief Jim Ledford who is retiring on January 6.

Chief Houk brings 24 years experience to the Neosho Fire Department.

He started his career at 18-years old working for the Redings Mill Volunteer Fire Department.

He then worked for 22 years at the Joplin Fire Department before retiring as a Battalion Chief.

Houk has been working the past four years at the Newton County Ambulance District.

“I’ve got family that’s here aunts, uncles and cousins. My kids went to school down here and graduated in the Neosho School system. We just got to know a lot of people here. We’ve worked together when I was with the ambulance with Neosho Fire. Also mutual aid stuff with Joplin. And it’s just a great department and a great city. I just want to give back. I love the fire service the brotherhood of it all and it’s a great community,” said Aaron Houk, Neosho Fire Department.

Chief Houk says he will evaluate the Fire Department before he makes any changes.