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Indianapolis fire chief with ALS is stepping down

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis fire chief says he is stepping down as he battles Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Brian Sanford has led the Fire Department since 2008 and will shift this summer to a new job as chief of staff to city Public Safety Director Troy Riggs.

The 57-year-old Sanford told The Indianapolis Star (http://indy.st/1fsHjQw) that his disease will eventually reach the point where he can’t lead firefighters like he believes a chief should.

The disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, attacks the cells that control muscle movements.

Riggs said he was disappointed when Sanford decided it was time to resign as fire chief but that he’s glad Sanford will continue with the public safety agency.

Riggs said the search for a new fire chief is beginning immediately.

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