Independence Fire Chief John Greene, who has been chief since 2014, has announced his retirement effective Dec. 26.

Greene joined the Independence Fire Department in 1987 and succeeded Sandra Schiess three years ago. The department consists of nearly 200 firefighters at 10 stations. According to the city, the department responded to more than 20,000 calls in 2016, more than half of them medical calls.

Greene said he had the “great fortune” of serving the Independence community his entire career. Two of his big points of pride are his work on the joint labor/management initiative “Addressing Cancer in the Fire Service” and working on negotiations that promoted good relationships between the city and International Association of Fire Fighters Local 781.

“I am proud of the men and women who serve this city in the IFD,” Greene said in a city release. “They are the reason we successfully passed the second fire safety tax. Citizens understand the heart our firefighters put into their service every day.”

Greene was named the Harry S Truman Firefighter of the Year in 1998 and 2006. He is a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Missouri Fire Chiefs, Western Missouri Fire Chiefs, Heart of America Fire Chiefs and Independence Chamber of Commerce.

The city says it will conduct a nationwide search this fall.