Chicago Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff plans to announce his resignation on Thursday, the head of the firefighters union said Wednesday night.
Another source familiar with the situation called Hoff's resignation “imminent” and said it is for personal reasons, not because of any policy differences with new Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Hoff, 56, is a third generation Chicago firefighter whose father was killed in the line of duty. He chose to retire — and go out on his own terms — on the 50th anniversary of his father’s death.
Sources said the decision was his. The mayor did not force him out.
“Thirty-five years is long enough. He wants to go teach firemen and keep them safe. That’s what he wants to do,” said a source close to the commissioner.
Hoff, a third-generation hero firefighter, was appointed by then-Mayor Richard Daley to lead the department in June 2010. Hoff was popular with the rank and file.
Hoff, a fire veteran of more than 30 years, twice was awarded the department's top honor for bravery. In 1992, he rescued elderly residents from burning buildings following a gas explosion. In 1997, he saved 4-year-old twin boys from an Englewood building fire. Hoff also spent 21 days in a burn unit after suffering injuries fighting a fire in 1984.
STATEMENT REGARDING RETIREMENT OF COMMISSIONER HOFF
"On behalf of the Chicago Fire Fighters' Union,we wish Commissioner Hoff well in his retirement. He was a public servant of unquestionable integrity with a passionate and unwavering commitment to fire safety for the public-at-large as well as for rank-and-file firefighters and paramedics. He always stood-up for what he believed in and was never afraid to speak his mind. He was the unique leader who was able to cut budgets while never sacrificing vital resources or staffing,and as a result Chicago firefighters and paramedics have the fastest response time of any city in the nation. That is a legacy to be proud of. Chicago is truly a better and safer city because of his leadership and public service."
Tom Ryan President Chicago Fire Fighters' Union,Local 2
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