Omaha Fire Chief Mike McDonnell has announced his retirement effective immediately.  

McDonnell will receive service credit to retire with 25-years service according to a news release provided to Newsradio 1110 KFAB. Currently McDonnell has served 23 years, 10 months.

Mayor Jean Stothert has named Battalion Chief Bernard Kanger as the interim Fire Chief.  Kanger has been with the department 22 years and has been Battalion Chief for 7 years.

The mayor is quoted in the statement as saying, "Bernie Kanger has the training, skills and experience to lead the Omaha Fire Department." She added, "His boots on the ground experience has earned the respect of his fellow firefighters."

Mayor Jean Stothert has agreed not to lay off any firefighters until at least July 1, 2014 to allow the new Fire Chief to evaluate the needs of the department and make recommendations to the mayor.

Additionally the mayor has agreed to retain three Assistant Fire Chiefs through the end of 2014.