Denver Fire Chief Eric Tade will leave next month after a decade as the city’s top firefighter, the Hancock administration announced Tuesday.
Tade was appointed chief by former Mayor John Hickenlooper in 2010 before being reappointed by Mayor Michael Hancock in 2011. Tade told Hancock he was resigning during a meeting Monday, according to a press release.
The release provided few details about why Tade is leaving. But CBS4 reported Tuesday his resignation is connected to the annual Firefighters Ball, a union-sponsored celebration. The most recent celebration, last weekend in downtown Denver, included announcers joking about sex toys, the TV station reported. This came after last year’s celebration included a raffle for a sex toy. Tade eventually called the actions inappropriate, according to CBS4.
Tade called it an honor to serve Denver as fire chief.
“It’s the right time to step back and bring in new leadership to implement new strategies and a fresh perspective to foster continued improvement,” Tade said in the press release. “That’s what the men and women of this department deserve, and I remain committed to this department and the people we serve every day.”
The mayor’s office listed several programs Tade helped implement during his time as chief. They included improving the department’s insurance rating, receiving top-tier accreditation, improving regional work with nearby cities and adopting new wellness programs supporting fire fighter’s physical and mental health.
“When the Chief told me it was time for a new set of eyes, as difficult of a decision as that was, I knew he meant it, and I let him know that I appreciated his courage and wisdom in recognizing that it was time for a change,” Hancock stated.
Tade will continue to work as assistant chief until his last day on March 16.