Whanganui's fire chief Bernie Rush is leaving at the end of the month.

Mr Rush, who held the Whanganui Fire Brigade area commander position from 1998 to 2001, then again from 2012 to now, will be starting his new position as Taranaki area commander on August 29.

"It's going to be hard, I love this place," he said.

He had already planned to retire at the end of the year, but as the Taranaki area commander was seconded to Wellington, Mr Rush agreed to take over the New Plymouth position for three months.


Upon retirement, he will move to the US, where his wife has been living and receiving medical treatment for several years now.

"I've spent a lot of my life in and around Whanganui," he said.

When Mr Rush was given a position in Wellington, he commuted from Whanganui every week for 12 years because he didn't want to move away.

"Whanganui is a really beautiful place and with really good people and a lot of friends and family here. I'll miss walking around the river, around the bridges . . . just the ambiance of the place. It's a really good place to live."

A replacement for Mr Rush in Whanganui is being advertised.