Houston Fire Chief Terry Garrison announced his resignation Thursday, but will remain at the helm through the end of the year.
Garrison will return home to Phoenix to join his wife, who has been with family to assist with a grandchild who is undergoing medical treatment, the city announced.
"It is with regret, but great sympathy, that I have accepted the resignation of Fire Chief Garrison," said Mayor Annise 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."
Parker said some of his main accomplishments included increased fiscal accountability and efficiencies, improvments to administrative and training and a new new management structure to improve supervision.
"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" Parker said. "I want to thank him for his dedication and commitment to our city."?
Garrison, selected by Parker, was confirmed by council in September 2010 and served as the city's 35th chief.
He started with the Phoenix Fire Department 1977 in Phoenix. He retired as assistant chief of operation in 2007.
He served as the chief of Long Beach, Calif. from 2007 through 2009 and interim chief for the Daisy Mountain Fire District in Arizona.
In a letter to Mayor Parker, he thanks the mayor and all of this staff.
Reflecting on the loss of four firefighters earlier this year, he said "the loss of our members and those injured on May 31, 2013 has had a great impact on all of us. 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."