EAST PEORIA — Changes are on the way in the leadership of the East Peoria Fire Department with the retirement later this month of Assistant Fire Chief Rick Ward.

Lt. Kim Riggenbach will be promoted to assistant chief and Firefighter Dan Decker will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

Riggenbach has been a member of the fire department for 19 years and has served as lieutenant for six years.

Decker, who is also a member of the East Peoria City Council, has been an East Peoria firefighter for 20 years.

Riggenbach and Decker will take the oath of office, with family members pinning their new officer badges on their uniforms, at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 18, in East Peoria Civic Plaza Room 111, 401 W. Washington St., in East Peoria.

Ward will be retiring at the end of his shift on July 17, marking the end of a 31-year career with the department. He joined the department on March 1, 1987 and has served as an assistant chief since 2006. He oversees the fire training and operations division of the department.

A lunch and retirement program for Ward will be July 17 at 1:30 p.m. at the East Peoria Civic Plaza with remarks by Interim Fire Chief John Knapp and Mayor Dave Mingus and the presentation of Ward's city retirement gift.

Scott Hilyard can be reached at 686-3244 or by email at shilyard@pjstar.com. Follow @scotthilyard on Twitter.