Brendan McCarthy / Eyewitness News
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NEWORLEANS-- Charles Parent, the superintendent of the New Orleans Fire Department, will retire in coming months, leaving vacant the post he held for the last 10 years.

A city news release confirmed that Parent, who is currently on medical leave, will retire this summer. The city said Parent will remain on the job until his replacement is chosen.

Fire Department spokeswoman Carlene Barthe first confirmed his departure Thursday morning. Barthe said it's unclear whether he has any post-NOFD plans.

The superintendent's post is an unclassified city job. Mayor Mitch Landrieu will appoint the next fire chief.

An ad placed on a website of the International Association of Fire Chiefs confirmed the city is looking to hire a superintendent.

Parent joined the NOFD in 1982. He became a captain in 1990, district chief in 1995 and acting deputy chief in 2002. He was sworn in as superintendent in 2003, and his tenure included leading the department during Hurricane Katrina.

'I want to thank Chief Parent for his extraordinary service and continued dedication to the New Orleans Fire Department and to the people of this community,' said Mayor Mitch Landrieu in a statement. 'He led the department through some tough times following Hurricane Katrina and continues to build it back stronger.'

In the statement, Parent thanked the mayor as well, for allowing him to serve.
'It has been an honor and privilege to work with some of the finest young men and women in the fire service. I leave with a heavy heart, but I know the city is in good hands. The opportunity to continue the progressive legacy of my predecessors, Chiefs McDaniels and McCrossen is an honor I could not have imagined when I began my career thirty years ago. The citizens of New Orleans can rest assured that I am leaving the New Orleans Fire Department with the best prepared, best educated and best trained fire service professionals in the country. '

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