SPOKANE, Wash. -

Spokane's fire chief is retiring early next year after more than 28 years serving the city of Spokane.

The city announced Monday that Chief Bobby Williams will retire January 22nd. Assistant Chief Brian Schaeffer will serve as interim chief while the city conducts a national search.

"I'm honored to have served alongside the incredible men and women who are always there when someone calls for help," Chief Williams said. "He has advanced our ability to meet the unique needs of the people who require assistance, introduced greater efficiencies into the system and improved the safety of our firefighters."

The city cites several major incidents since Chief Williams has been at the helm of the department, including Ice Storm, Fire Storm and the windstorm of 2015. According to the city, calls for service have more than doubled during his tenure. The city also credits Chief Williams with modernizing the city's fire department and fire facilities.

December marks 50 years of Chief Williams serving the fire service and communities.

"Anyone who has interacted with Chief Williams during his time with the Spokane Fire Department knows him as a kind, humble and dedicated public servant," Mayor Condon said Monday. "We will miss Chief Williams' leadership and positive influence on the department and the Spokane community."