West Lafayette Fire Chief retires

Former Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Need was sworn in as Chief on Friday, but the moment was bittersweet as the department said goodbye to former Chief Tim Heath.

Posted: Jun 11, 2021 3:52 PM
Updated: Jun 11, 2021 5:41 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — There's a new man in charge of the West Lafayette Fire Department.

Former Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Need was sworn in as Chief on Friday, but the moment was bittersweet as the department said goodbye to former Chief Tim Heath.

"I'm sad, but I'm excited," said Heath. "It's a new chapter for my family and I."

That new chapter started as Heath passed his role onto former Deputy Chief Jeff Need.

Heath has served with WLFD for 31 years and has been chief for the last 10.

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said the day was met with mixed emotions.

"Bittersweet is the best way to describe it," Dennis said. "Chief Heath wasn't just a great chief and a great leader. He was a great friend."

Dennis said Heath was a great leader when it came to making sure his successor would be ready to lead the department.

Need said he's excited to take on the new role.

"Chief Heath has led us to new levels in the last 10 years," said Need. "The city has grown, our department has grown and I'm just excited for the future of the department."

Heath said he's grateful for those who helped make that growth possible.

"I'm really proud of the department," Heath said. "I'm proud of the people that have worked under me, and I'm proud of the job that we have done."

He's also thankful to the community he served.

"Anything else you want to say about your time here?" asked News 18's Samantha Thieke.

"Just thank you," said Heath. "Thank you to West Lafayette."

Heath and his family are headed to San Antonio, Texas where he'll be taking on a new, civilian job.

News 18 thanks Heath for his service to the community, and we wish him the best.

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