James Hand will serve as interim fire chief upon the retirement of Athens Fire and Rescue Chief Bryan Thornton.
Thornton is retiring at the end of this month.
Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks announced Thursday that Hand will serve as interim.
Hand is starting his 19th year with the department. He has served as a firefighter, driver, inspector and the past seven years as fire marshal.
Marks said the city plans to open the application process for chief in July.