UPDATE: Lynchburg Fire Chief announces retirement

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) -- Update:The man in charge of the city's fire department is retiring. Chief Brad Ferguson announced his plans yesterday.

Ferguson's first day of work at the Lynchburg Fire Department was over four decades ago, but he says it doesn't seem that long ago.

"Oh yeah, I can remember it vividly,” he said recalling how he even got the job in the first place.

He walked in to the fire department as a recent college grad looking for work. 41 years later, he's the man on top.

Following his retirement announcement, Friday was a day of reminiscing. A frame hangs outside of the Chief’s office that showcases every chief since the department's inception. Since 1883 there have only been nine.

During his time at the Fire Department, Ferguson has been responsible for many projects, including developing the first EMS system in the Lynchburg region. He responded to hundreds of serious events, like the train derailment in 2014. He says these experiences have taught him a lot through the years.

"I think a lot of people when they're growing up say ‘Oh I want to be a fireman, it's a hero type thing’. And that's not what it is about at all. I think the longer you're in the department you see it's all about public service and taking care of people,” said Ferguson.

Ferguson says it is time for him to retire and is confident that he is leaving the department in good hands. His official retirement date will be December 31st. The City Manager will launch a search for a new chief.

He says even though it's time, it is hard to say goodbye, his coworkers agree.

"Job well done and you've taught me and many others lots and lots,” said his colleague Battalion Chief Ricky Bomar.

Original article: City of Lynchburg Fire Chief, Steven B. Ferguson has announced plans to retire December 31.

Ferguson is a native of Lynchburg.

He joined the department as a firefighter in 1976 and has worked in several areas of the department throughout his career.

He was appointed Acting Fire Chief in December 2005 and Fire Chief in April 2006.

Ferguson serves as Chief of one of only 239 accredited fire departments internationally.

Under his leadership, the department has been recognized with a number of awards including ones from the American Heart Association and Mission: Lifeline Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Gold Level Recognition Award which recognized the department’s readiness in responding to out-of-hospital cardiac arrests.

“Brad has been an excellent Fire Chief. His leadership is evident in the excellent service his department provides to this community,” City Manager Bonnie Svrcek said.

“Chief Ferguson’s institutional knowledge is unmatched; however, I have full confidence that he has groomed the Lynchburg Fire Department to continue to excel in his absence. We wish Chief Ferguson the very best in the next chapter of his life.”

According to Svrcek, the recruitment process for a new fire chief will include a nationwide recruitment process after the development of an extensive job profile, advertisement and interview process.

“I have been honored to have the opportunity to serve this community for so many years,” said Ferguson. “I am extremely proud of the professional service that the dedicated men and women of this department deliver every day. I am also thankful to the City Manager and City Council for their support over the years.”