PLANT CITY - Interim Fire Chief David Burnett has decided not to seek the job on a permanent basis, prompting a search for a new chief.
Burnett, 44, said he wants to return to his former position as training division chief and fire marshal after a replacement is hired. Burnett, a six-year veteran with Plant City Fire Rescue, has been interim chief since George Shiley retired in June 2012.
The city is advertising on its website and through the Florida Fire Chiefs Association for a permanent chief.
The position pays $75,000 to $95,000.
City Manager Greg Horwedel said the city will start interviewing candidates in July.
Burnett said he had several reasons to not pursue the permanent top job, including a desire to spend more time with his son, who is entering high school in the fall. Also, Burnett said he's busy with a rigorous, time-consuming executive fire officers training program offered by the National Fire Academy.
"I just feel that this is best," said Burnett, who added that he is "here to help the city."
The city is seeking a chief who has a four-year degree in a field such as fire science, and at least 10 years experience, including eight years in a supervisory or management position.
The department has 41 employees, and its services include both firefighting and advanced life support.