AMSTERDAM, N.Y. – The Amsterdam Fire Department is starting its week with a new leader.
After nearly 20 years overseeing the day to day operations, Fire Chief Richard Liberti has retired.
“It was time. I'm going to be 62 years next month,” said Liberti.
Chief Liberti says he plans to spend more time with his family. He also said he's confident the new chief will succeed.
“There's a lot of dedication. He has a good head and I think the city is in good hands,” he said.
On Monday morning, Michael Whitty was sworn in as the new Fire Chief. He's been a part of the department since 1988 and has been the Battalion Chief for the past seven years.
Whitty’s son, an Albany Police Officer, had the honor to pin his father's badge onto his uniform during the ceremony.
The new leader says it's a proud moment for him and his family as this marks the last step in his career. He said he has some new ideas, but has little to change.
“Try to be more focused on our training. Making sure our guys have the right training. The chief did an excellent job. There's very little room for improvement,” said Whitty.
Although all eyes were on Chief Whitty during the ceremony, he took the time to thank his firefighters.
“These guys that are here do the lion's share of the work. But again the chief did such a great job it is such a smooth transition,” Whitty said.
Chief Whitty says he's honored for the new title and looks forward to continuing serving the community as chief.