BRILLION, Wis. (WFRV) – New year, new fire chief – well at least that’s the case for Brillion Fire Department.

On Thursday, Brillion Chief of Fire, Joe Diener, announced he will be stepping down from his position on Jan. 1, 2022. Chief Diener will reportedly be replaced by Garrett Wenzel, who has worked with the Brillion Fire Department since 2008.

“I personally want to wish Garrett the best and congratulate him as he takes over and becomes the twenty-first Chief of the Brillion Fire Department,” shared Chief Diener in a statement.

Wenzel is said to have served in many roles throughout his career with the fire department including serving as a certified driver/operator, a lieutenant, a captain, and a full-time firefighter for the Green Bay Metro Fire Department and the City of Menasha.

“Garrett’s experience within the Brillion Fire Department, as well as that of working with two different career departments, allows him to bring new ideas to better the Brillion Fire Department,” explained Chief Diener.

Chief Diener is leaving the Brillion Fire Department after 23 years of faithful service. As he prepares to pass the torch in just a couple of days, Chief Diener has released a heartfelt statement expressing sentiments of gratitude to his family, his comrades, and the community.

The statement read:

…As I embrace the new year, I would like to start by thanking the members of the Brillion Fire Department, and their families. It truly has been an honor and a privilege to be the chief of the department. When I took over in 2017, my number one goal was the safety of our members and having each member go home at the end of every call, training session, or any public relations event we were part of, and we were able to achieve this.

Second, I need to say thank you to my family, from my wife Melissa and daughter Morgan, to the entire rest of my family as well…I have missed several family events, had holidays interrupted, and time with each of you over the years because the pager toned us out when someone was in need, at no point did any of you question why I was running out the door…

Next, I want to thank YOU, the community I have had the opportunity to not only serve but also be part of. Without your support over the past few years, I would not be the person I am today…

Finally, I want to say thank you to the members of the Brillion Police Department, Gold Cross Ambulance, neighboring fire departments and fire chiefs that I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from, together we made each of our communities safer by building the working relationships and trust in each other.

Thank you all and Happy New Year.”

Chief of Fire Joe Diener

Find the full statement, here.