Published: Nov 25, 2013 6:09 PM EST

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Interim Cape Coral Fire Chief Don Cochran completed his first full day on the job Monday, after former Chief Tim Hayes resigned suddenly on Friday.

Cochran says he is ready to move the department forward, and the community will not notice any interruptions in service.

He says, "when they call 911 or they ask for service from the fire department, they are going to continue to receive the same level of service they've received in the past."

Cochran is a 23-year veteran of the department and no stranger to the leadership role. He's served as acting chief in the past.

He says, "my expectation is the men and women of this department are going to continue to conduct themselves and respond to emergencies as needed with the same professionalism and customer service."

Cochran takes over after former Chief Tim Hayes resigned suddenly for personal reasons, just a week after he was cleared of allegations he lied on his resume, among other accusations.

"These things happen from time to time in organizations, and I believe we'll be stronger moving forward," Cochran says.

City Manager John Szerlag says, "with his long career and history with the department, I expect he will provide solid leadership to our Cape Coral firefighters and support team." Szerlag says Cochran will serve as interim chief until further notice.

"Any time you have a situation like this, it can arise a distraction but for the most part I would say our troops are out in the field right now, they're doing their jobs, they're responding to calls as we speak. They're going to continue to do what they do and that's what the citizens should be assured by," Cochran adds.