Leander Fire Chief Bill Gardner will retire next month, after leading the department for eight years. The city said Assistant Chief Robert Curr will take over as interim fire chief effective upon Gardner’s retirement on Feb. 15.
Gardner began working with the Leander Fire Department as a volunteer in 2002. He was hired as deputy chief in 2005 and then promoted to fire chief in October 2010.
Gardner began a 34-year career in public safety, as a volunteer firefighter in Sudan, Texas. Before joining the Leander Fire Department, he worked or volunteered with the Matador Volunteer Fire Department, Littlefield Fire Department, Littlefield EMS, Lamb County Emergency Management, Lubbock County EMS, Austin-Travis County EMS and the Jollyville Fire Department.
Curr has 28 years of experience in public safety and first joined the Leander Fire Department in 2004, according to city spokesperson Mike Neu. Curr currently oversees training, health and safety and emergency management efforts at the department, and has been an assistant fire chief since 2016.
Neu said the city plans to begin a formal search for a new fire chief in late January.
The city’s fire department also held a grand opening for a new $4.4 million, 12,350 square foot Fire Station No. 1 building on Jan. 19.
“A firefighter spends a third of their life in a fire station,” Gardner told attendees at the grand opening. “You have to make it somewhere where they’re able to be at home.”
The city relocated the station to its new location on West San Gabriel Parkway as a part of the renovations for Pat Bryson Municipal Hall in downtown Leander.