Cheyenne Fire and Rescue Chief Jim Martin announced Thursday he will end his nearly 32-year career with the department on February 28.

Martin says he's accepted a job with a federal contractor in Cheyenne and will be working with hazardous materials.

"I will miss my fellow employees the most," said Martin. "I work with a great group of firefighters who are dedicated to the city and I have a great staff."

Martin joined the fire department in May 1985 and was named chief in September 2010.

"I'm proud of the progress we have made while I have been chief," said Martin. "We have worked hard to improve the equipment firefighters use, including new fire apparatus and new bunker gear."

"I'm also proud of the city's ISO rating," he added.

"James Martin is an example of what can be accomplished when hard work and devotion are involved," said Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr. "We will miss Jim's leadership."

Orr says an interim chief will be announced before the end of the month.

"We want to leave no stone unturned in our search for a new chief," said Orr. "We want to find the best person for the job because our firefighters and our residents deserve it."

More From KGAB