WATSONVILLE, Calif. -

Watsonville Fire Chief Mark Bisbee is stepping down after 14 years with the department and is headed to a new position with CalFire.

City officials announced the move Wednesday.

Bisbee joined the Watsonville Fire Department in 2000, and spent the past nine years as chief. Prior to his tenure in Watsonville, he'd served almost 15 years with CalFire.

While Chief Bisbee’s departure was anticipated for the past few weeks and succession planning discussions have taken place, his departure became official yesterday with his confirmation of reinstatement back to CalFire, city officials said.

“I’m very grateful to have had the honor to serve as the city’s Fire Chief. It’s been wonderful, and I’ve learned and grown so much, but I’m following my passion, and looking forward to returning to the agency where I began my career,” Bisbee said in a release.