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Spokane Fire Chief talks with KREM 2 after announcing retirement

For the first time since learning that Spokane fire chief, Brian Schafer will no longer lead the department. The chief is now speaking out. I sat down with him earlier today to ask him about the decision to step away and about the timing of it all, he told me the timing all came down to his pension. And when he was able to retire, Schaer said he wanted to be a firefighter from day one after a fire destroyed his family's home back in 1971 when he was just an infant.

This is actually the article that was written about that fire. But a lot of you are wondering about the timing and if it has anything to do with the new mayor, here's what Schafer told me, why make the announcement to retire. I was going to actually I made the announcement last year to retire this year. So, um so it shouldn't really be a big surprise that the people in the organization and uh the community have been aware.

My leadership has been aware and really it uh it's been a goal of mine to retire at the, the age for our pension system. Was your decision to retire? Did that have anything to do with the new mayor in town? No, no, but the keyboard warriors out there sure seem to have a number of different stories. And, um, you know, it is, it is always, uh, probably the most important time in an organization's, uh, life. When we have these transitions, it's really important to me to make sure that this period of transition is, is done pragmatically and that we don't drop anything. Is there anything that you hope to do that you weren't able to do now? Because of the requirements of your job? You know, I, I really uh I love fly fishing and um I don't take vacations because of the job. You know, it, when you're in this public servant, um position like a fire chief, you're expected to be 24 7. And I, I took that seriously. So now I have time to do, even if it's a little bit of time, a little bit of break to spend some time fishing and spend some time uh outdoors and not have to be connected to a car, a pager, a radio, telephone, you guys, all my friends and partners in the media, but I'm, I'm looking forward not to have that uh that uh Leash Schafer's last day will be on March 31st.

And until then he says he will help with the transition process of bringing in a new chief. I did ask him if that will be an internal or external hire. He told me he just doesn't know right now..

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