Fire Chief Mark Metdker will retire in June, marking the end of a 17-year career in Celina public safety.

Metdker, who has served as Celina’s police chief, fire marshal, director of public safety and fire chief, announced his retirement plans during a Feb. 10 Fire Department Banquet, according to a Feb. 16 report from City Manager Robert Ranc.

“I am happy for Chief Metdker as he embarks on a well-deserved retirement, but he will certainly be missed,” Ranc said in an emailed statement.

Looking back

Metdker came to Celina in January 2008 after nearly three decades of public safety work in the cities of Addison and McKinney, according to the report.

Celina’s population was under 10,000 people in 2008 and has increased by more than 450% over Metdker’s career, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

“It’s gone from a very small town and now it’s exploding into a large city,” Metdker said.

One of the highlights of his time with the city was watching the people he hired later succeed and be promoted into their own leadership positions, he said.

“[Metdker’s] illustrious career has left an incredible mark on our community, and his dedication to service is truly commendable,” Ranc said. “His leadership has been instrumental in ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents, and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his years of tireless service.”

In his own words

“Leading this fire department has been my privilege, and it's been an honor to serve the citizens and lead such an incredible group as our firefighters,” Metdker said. "I'm so proud of all of them."

What comes next?

The city plans to select a search firm in the next few weeks to conduct a national search for Metdker’s replacement, Communications Director Joe Monaco said in an email. Metdker said he expects to have some involvement in the search.

“As we bid farewell to Chief Metdker, we embark on a new chapter in our fire department’s history,” Ranc said. “[...] We will aim to find someone who will continue to uphold the high standards set by Chief Metdker and lead our department with the same level of excellence.”

More information on the search and the next fire chief are expected to be announced at a future date.