WAUSAU (WAOW) -
WAUSAU (WAOW) -- Wausau Fire Chief Gary Buchberger has retired after leading the department for 16 years.
Friday was Buchberger's last day on the job. He grew up on a farm near Mattoon and came to Wausau in 1998 after working in fire suppression for NASA.
The fire department's garage was lined with two rows of firefighters for a ceremony, all standing in silence to pay respect to the man they called chief for sixteen years. Buchberger gave one last salute before turning around and thanking his fellow firefighters.
"I'm a little sad to be leaving something that I'm very proud of and very much been a part of for a lot of my life here so emotions are kind of all over the board now," says Buchberger.
Wausau Police Chief Jeff Hardel has been named the interim fire chief, until a replacement for Buchberger can be hired, which won't happen until March or April.