HFD Chief Terry Garrison resigning at end of year
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Houston Fire Chief Terry Garrison is stepping down, effective at the end of the year, according to Mayor Annise Parker.
Mayor Parker's office sent out a release today, announcing that she's accepted Garrison's resignation from the position he's held for three years. He's reportedly going to return to Phoenix, Arizona, where his wife has remained to assist with a grandchild who's undergoing medical treatment.
"It is with regret, but great sympathy, that I have accepted the resignation of Fire Chief Garrison," said Mayor Parker. "He installed the most diverse command staff in the department's history."
In his formal letter of resignation, Chief Garrison thanked Mayor Parker and other city officials, and all members of the Houston Fire Department. He also reflected on last spring's southwest Houston mote fire that claimed the lives of four Houston firefighters.
"The loss of our members and those injured on May 31, 2013 has had a great impact on all of us," wrote Garrison. "And although it has brought us closer as an organization, it has also reminded me how important family is, and has played a role in my personal decision to return home."
Garrison was hired in 2010 by Mayor Parker. Nefore that, he was chief of a small department in Oceanside, California, but had spent several years as an assistant chief in Phoenix.
Garrison inherited a department that had come under fire for racist and sexist behavior. Firefighers union president Bryan Sky-Eagle says Garrison tackled those issues head-on.
"I think he cleaned it up, and he's had the most diverse command staff we ever had. He promotes women and minority positions. So I think he's done great strides with that," Sky-Eagle said.
Garrison also instituted a policy of reviews and post-fire analysis that identified and addressed problems. A source inside the department says those reviews identified continued problems with equipment and communication.
The source and the union confirm those are still issues that need to be addressed by the next chief.
As for the next chief, Mayor Parker has indicated she will be looking to promote from within the department.
We're following this story and will have more on Eyewitness News, abc13.com and our mobile news apps throughout the day.
Take ABC13 with you!
Download our free apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices
- Missouri City cheers on 'Resurrection' star
- North Texas family holds out hope for loved one
- Big names, fans converge on Austin for SXSW
- One killed in house fire on Houston's south side
- VIP treatment for military families at RodeoHouston
- Peru: Van der Sloot to be extradited to US in 2038
- More than two dozen hurt in musical stage collapse 44 min ago
- Rockets rally for OT win over Blazers
- Why Malaysia Airlines jet might have disappeared 41 min ago
- Man arrested for stealing money from donation box 22 min ago
- Two charged in death of North Texas student
- Toronto mayor mocked for daylight savings flub
- Big quake strikes off N. California, no tsunami threat
- Amazing images from midair accident in Florida