Kelowna Fire Chief retiring

Kelowna's Fire Chief is calling it a career, after more than four decades in the business.

Jeff Carlisle will officially retire from the Department on March 3, after six years as Kelowna's chief.

He says it's a decision he's thought a lot about.

"I'm coming up in September to 43 years, and outside of my family, my life's energy has been the fire service," he said.

"But there comes a time where you close this chapter and move onto another one. So it's something I've been thinking about for awhile, and all the stars aligned, and here we are."

Carlisle says looking back on the 42-and-a-half years leaves memories of a career that's taken him on many adventures.

"I joined the Canadian military at 17, I was living on the streets in Owen Sound, Ontario, and I went through that system coast to coast in Canada and overseas, and then moved into the municipal side," he said.

"I was out in Fort McMurray for ten years, in Vernon for three, and I'm into my seventh year here in Kelowna, so it's been a great ride."

He says given his connections to Fort McMurray, there were many former co-workers he reached out to during the disastrous wildfire there last May.

"I kept in contact with a number of them, just offering support. I remember I was talking to the deputy chief of operations, and he was just really relieved to hear a friendly voice on the phone," he said.

"I called him and said 'I'm here bud if you need anything. If you need any help, or just someone to talk to.' And he was really grateful that I'd taken to the time to give him a call."

Carlisle says his initial plans are to spend more time both with his family, and out on the golf course.

An interim Fire Chief will be appointed until a permanent replacement is found.  

The city says that recruitment process will start right away.