Waco Fire Chief John Johnston is stepping down from his position with plans to remain in the department. 

City spokesman Larry Holze said Johnston asked to be reassigned to an assistant chief position. City Manager Dale Fisseler approved the request this week. 

Johnston says he’s stepping down for a health and family reasons. He says, as chief you are on the job 24/7 and stepping down will relieve some of that load. 

Johnston has been the fire chief since 2003 after 18 years with the department. 

City officials say Johnston will remain chief until January. In the meantime there will be a search for the right person to fill the position.