November 14, 2013 -- Mayor Annise Parker has accepted the resignation of Houston Fire Chief Terry Garrison, effective at the end of the year. Garrison is leaving the post he has held for three years to return to Phoenix, Arizona where his wife has remained to assist with an infant grandchild as he undergoes treatment for medical issues.
"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. Working with this management team, he created a multi-year strategic plan for the department and, for the first time, provided quarterly management and financial reports. Over the course of his three years as Chief, he has continued to make improvements and the result of his efforts and the efforts of his management team resulted in the Houston Fire Department being one of the most respected and copied in the nation. I want to thank him for his dedication and commitment to our city."
In his formal letter of resignation to Mayor Parker, Chief Garrison thanks the mayor, fellow department directors, his command staff and all members of the Houston Fire Department, writing that it is the men and women of the department that make it a great organization. He also reflects on last spring's tragic 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," writes the chief. "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."
The chief's many accomplishments during his tenure include:
- Increased fiscal accountability and efficiencies
- Administrative and training improvements that have had a direct impact on moving the organization in a more diverse, fair and inclusive direction
- New management structure to improve supervision, leadership and performance in order to exceed customer expectations and always ensure firefighter safety is the department's primary goal
It is the mayor's intent to hire a new Fire Chief who will continue the initiatives and progress Chief Garrison has made. She believes she can find that person from within the ranks of the department. Chief Garrison has agreed to be part of the selection team.