HASTINGS, Neb. — The longtime Hastings Fire Department chief has announced his plans to retire, leaving the city to seek a new department leader.

Television station KSNB reports that Fire Chief Kent Gilbert told the Hastings City Council on Monday night that he will retire effective May 1. That date will mark Gilbert’s 38th year with the department.

Gilbert joined the Hastings department on May 1, 1980. He has been the chief for 17 years. During that time, Gilbert has overseen what he says are huge changes in the department from when he began. That includes that fire fighters are now more high-tech and their skills more varied.

Information from: KSNB-TV, http://www.nbcneb.com.

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