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Sacramento Metro Fire Chief Announces Retirement


(AP) -- The chief of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District has announced his retirement and the district's board of directors says it will conduct an internal search for his replacement.

The Sacramento Bee reports Kurt Henke informed the board Thursday that he plans to retire in October after 33 years in fire service.

Henke joined the Sacramento district in 2009 and has served as chief since 2011. He began his career as a volunteer with the Napa County Fire Department in 1981.

After Henke's announcement, the board approved the recommendation of its executive committee to search among the district's ranks to select the next chief.

Officials estimate that an internal search process will save the district $25,000 in fees to a recruitment consultant.

A press release from the fire district said during Henke's tenure, labor costs dropped by approximately $9 million annually and the agency's long-term liabilities reduced by $192 million. 

“Metro Fire is a much different organization than when I joined five years ago,” Henke said in a statement. “I would like to thank the Board for its commitment to transforming the organization into a model of fiscal accountability. I am proud to have had the opportunity to take my three decades of experience in the fire service to help find every possible measure to reduce costs and long-term liabilities, maximize revenue and change how we deliver service to the customer.”


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