Madison Fire Chief announces retirement while still on administrative leave

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Madison Fire & Rescue Chief Ralph Cobb announced his retirement on Monday. (Courtesy Photo)

MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – Madison Fire & Rescue Chief Ralph Cobb announced Monday that he will retire from his position with the City of Madison effective October 1, 2016.  Cobb has served as the head of the fire department since 2000.

Cobb was placed on administrative leave in April. He told WHNT News 19 at the time that the suspension stemmed from a class taught to younger firefighters. He said Madison officials were trying to determine if he practiced ‘age discrimination’ by not inviting older firefighters to attend the class.

He will remain on leave until October 1, and Deputy Chief Cary Sadler will remain acting chief of the department.

Cobb is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, a Credentialed Chief Fire Officer from the Center for Public Safety Excellence, and a nationally registered paramedic.  He is also a Lieutenant Colonel (R) in the United States Army Reserve.

During his time as the Madison Fire & Rescue Chief, Cobb served as a Governor-Appointed Commissioner on the State of Alabama Fire College Personnel Standards and Education Commission for the Alabama Fire College, President of the Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs, a member of the Calhoun Community College EMS Advisory Board and a member of the Madison County EMA Board.

Following retirement, Cobb said he plans to focus on homeland security and travel education, as well as find new ways to serve the community of Madison.