GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Fire Department officially swore in its new chief Monday.

Brad Brown was selected as chief by City Manager Mark Washington on April 10. He is replacing former fire chief John Lehman, who is officially retired from the department as of Monday.

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, City Manager Mark Washington and the Grand Rapids Fire Department honor guard were all present at City Hall as Brown was sworn in.

“Even though we embarked on a nation-wide search and had very many qualified finalists, you stood head and shoulders above them all,” said Washington, speaking to Brown. “You distinguished yourself, with your experience, with your education, with your innovation, the things you’ve done in the department and the things that you’ve allowed us to experience in community.”

Brown has been a firefighter for 27 years. He was been at the Grand Rapids department for 20 years as a firefighter, assistant chief administration, and occasional acting fire chief, among other jobs. He oversaw a $36 million budget, as well as purchasing, planning, fire prevention, and hiring and promoting GRFD employees.

“It is a privilege to have been chosen to serve as a leader of this world-class fire department,” said Brown. “I am committed to upholding the highest standards of excellence and service.”

He said he plans to lead with a spirit of openness.

“I promise to lead with an open mind, an open heart and an open door. I will listen to your ideas, your concerns and your aspirations. Together, we will create an environment that fosters innovation, growth and camaraderie. We will invest in the professional development of our firefighters, providing them with the tools and resources they need to excel in their roles,” said Brown.