Staff report

A new fire chief has been chosen to serve the islands around Charleston.

Colleen Walz, deputy chief of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire in Pennsylvania, is the new chief of the St. John’s Fire District, the department announced today. She will start her new duties July 15.

Walz has more than 25 years of fire-service experience and leads the fire-prevention division for her department. She has a master’s degree in Leadership and Disaster Preparedness.

Walz succeeds former Fire Chief Karl Ristow, who moved to Baltimore after 14 years of service here after his wife got a job there.

The St. John’s district includes Johns, Kiawah, Seabrook and Wadmalaw islands.