HOUSTON—Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced Thursday that she has accepted the resignation of Houston Fire Chief Terry Garrison.
The resignation is effective at the end of the year. After three years on the job, Garrison is leaving to return to Phoenix, Arizona where his wife has remained to assist with their 2-year-old grandchild as he undergoes medical treatment, the mayor’s office said.
His grandson was born with a condition called “failure to feed.”
“He doesn’t take anything by mouth, so all the food he takes is through a tube, through what they call a button in his stomach, so he’s on a feeder of that button, a drip of food like an IV drip about 21 hours a day,” he said.
Garrison’s wife has been living in Phoenix helping to take care of the boy, and recently decided to retire so she could help out full time. Garrison said his weekend trips to Arizona were not enough.
Mayor Parker offered great praise for Garrison’s contributions to the department.
“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,” shes said via an emailed statement. “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.”
Parker said she believes she can find the next fire chief from within the ranks of the department and that Garrison has agreed to be part of the selection team.