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After shooting death of fire chief, Nichols Hills promotes assistant

Nichols Hills has named a new fire chief. Former Assistant Fire Chief Terry Hamilton succeeds Keith Bryan, who was slain.
BY ROBERT MEDLEY Modified: September 29, 2011 at 6:21 pm •  Published: September 29, 2011

— He lost a good friend and his fire chief last week, and now Terry Hamilton is stepping up to succeed his former boss.

Hamilton, 54, was the deputy fire chief when Fire Chief Keith Bryan was shot to death Sept. 20. Hamilton was promoted to fire chief Wednesday by City Manager David Poole.

Hamilton has worked for Nichols Hills since May 1981. He started as a firefighter and became assistant chief in 2004. Bryan started as a Nichols Hills firefighter in 1980 and became chief in 1991.

“He was a close friend of mine,” Hamilton said. “We came up through the ranks all the way.”

Bryan's wife, Becky, has been jailed in connection with her husband's death. Hamilton said he knows Becky Bryan and said his children were raised around the Bryans' two boys.

“I'm still kind of dumbfounded, and I hope it comes out the best as it can for her,” Hamilton said.

Since Bryan's death, Hamilton said he has been “really busy and that has helped.”

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