Ventura County Fire Chief Rand-Scott Coggan has announced that he will leave his post next Thursday.
Coggan, who joined the department in May, 1988, said the decision was necessary for personal reasons. He plans to spend time with his ailing parents in Florida, where they own a family business.
The announcement surprised many employees in the department of almost 500 people.
The county has not yet decided how to search for Coggan's replacement. In the interim, a Fire Department official will serve as acting chief.