Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced in a statement that Terry Garrison has resigned as chief of the Houston Fire Department, effective at the end of 2013.
Garrison, who has served as chief for three years, will return to Phoenix, Arizona, where his wife has remained to assist with their infant grandson 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 thanked the mayor, fellow department directors, his command staff and all members of the Houston Fire Department,
"The loss of our members and those injured on May 31, 2013 has had a great impact on all of us," wrote Garrison in the resignation letter. "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."
Mayor Parker's office stated that Chief Garrison accomplished the following during his administration:
- 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