Houston Fire Chief Withdraws Resignation, Will Remain In Houston

Houston Fire Chief Terry Garrison
[Photo by Pat Hernandez, taken on Nov. 15th, 2013]
Houston Fire Chief Terry Garrison has reversed his decision to resign and will stay on as the head of the Houston Fire Department.

Less than two weeks ago, HFD Chief Terry Garrison announced his resignation, citing the need to be with his family in Phoenix while his  2-year-old grandson, Jack, undergoes medical treatment.

But today, he announced a reversal of that decision.

Garrison says Jack's health insurance changed and now it makes sense to have him treated by specialists at the Texas Medical Center.

"So we kind of made the decision right there as the reason I'm coming back to Phoenix is so we can support Jack's treatment. If he's got to start all over again, there's no better place to start all over again than in Houston."

Garrison admits he felt a bit sheepish about calling Houston Mayor Annise Parker and asking if he could keep his job after all.

"And the mayor was just very open and said, 'Tell me what's going on, Chief.' and I told her and she goes, 'Absolutely, come on back.' And you know I actually never left, but it sure was a terrible feeling to have to leave in the first place. But the fact that she allowed me to withdraw my resignation was a really big deal."

Parker hired Garrison as fire chief in September of 2010. He's been living here, with occasional trips back to Phoenix ever since.

Garrison says his family will relocate here within a few months.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...