MIAMI (CBSMiami)- It was a passing of the ‘fire hat’ for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue on Friday, as a ceremony was held to honor the retirement of the county’s fire chief.

Fire Chief Dave Downey has served in the fire service for 37 years and 31 of those years with MDFR.

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Friday was his last day on the job.

Chief Downey speaks to those attending his Transfer of Command Ceremony at MDFR’s Doral Headquarters. (CBS4Miami)

Family, friends, and members of the community gathered around to support and hear Downey’s final goodbyes during his Transfer of Command Ceremony at the MDFR Doral Headquarters.

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Downey’s journey to the fire service all started when he joined the Fire Explorers program with Sunrise Fire Rescue in 1982.

Then, in 1988, Downey started at MDFR, known as Metro-Dade Fire Department at the time, as a firefighter/paramedic. Since then, Downey has held several ranks including battalion chief, assistant chief and for the last six years, fire chief.

Although it was his last day, Chief Downey admitted that he won’t be too far away from the service he knows best.

“I don’t intend on leaving the fire service totally. I’ll see where the next chapter in my life takes me, but I am sure it will include a connection with our great fire service,” said Chief Downey.

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As for how he wants others to remember him, Chief Downey said, “I hope, in a small part, that I will be remembered for my passion for the fire service and my love of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.”