The city of Plano did not have to look far to find its new fire chief.

Chris Biggerstaff, the current assistant chief of fire services, was introduced to the City Council on Dec. 13 as the city's next fire chief.

A 29-year veteran of the department, Biggerstaff is the first internal candidate hired as fire chief in the city's history, according to a news release.

“I believe we have one of the top departments in the country,” Biggerstaff said in his address to the council. “I really believe we’re the top department, and I’m humbled by this opportunity. When you spend 29 years with an organization, you really begin to love the organization and the people in it. You realize the value and support of the city leadership and citizens we’ve had. I’ve got some big shoes to fill, but we have a great foundation to build on.”

Biggerstaff will replace the former chief Sam Greif, who was named deputy city manager in November.

Biggerstaff joined Plano Fire-Rescue in 1992. He was named the department’s “Rookie of the Year” in 1993 and “Officer of the Year” in 2013. He began his firefighting career in 1991 with the Garland Fire Department.

The new chief is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and holds a master’s in leadership with an emphasis in disaster preparedness and executive fire leadership from Grand Canyon University.

“Chris Biggerstaff is uniquely qualified to take the role as chief, and we have great expectations that he will keep PFR as the model fire department into the future,” City Manager Mark Israelson said in a Dec. 9 statement.