Retiring Fire Chief plans to spend time with father, family - FOX 10 News |

Retiring Fire Chief plans to spend time with father, family

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The Phoenix Fire Department introduced their interim fire chief Thursday. Executive Assistant Chief Kara Kalkbrenner will take over for current Fire Chief Bob Khan. Kalkbrenner will be Phoenix's first female Fire Chief.

Khan announced his retirement yesterday.  Kalkbrenner has been with the Phoenix Fire Department for 29-years.

"I came on when I was 19 year old, I paid my dues, I am a professional I feel I am very competent at what I do so I think I'm set up for success" said Interim Fire Chief Kalkbrenner.

Chief Khan served as Fire Chief for the City of Phoenix since 2006. He told FOX10 how it all began. He was a college student at ASU bored with his accounting major and working as a bartender at a bar where a lot of firefighters would go. He thought to himself 'I could see myself as a firefighter'.  Now, after 31 years rising through the ranks and being the face of the department Chief khan says he's putting family first.

he's known in his department as the firefighter's chief. And after nearly two decades as the department's leader Chief Bob Khan is retiring to spend more time with his daughters and his father, who has Alzheimer's Disease.

"I was distracted here I was distracted with my girls I was getting resentful toward my dad because I would go there and feed him on the weekends and I just decided I could make a change" said Khan.

Khan says there is one particular day in his career he will never forget, the day he thought he might die on the job. "May 15th, 1987 21st Ave. and Jefferson I went in to do a search in a Victorian house and the floor collapsed and I fell through he floor and the whole basement was on fire. The only thought I can remember clearly as I was falling through the floor oh this is how firefighters die I can remember thinking" said Khan.

Looking back on his career Khan says it's his days on the fire truck he's most proud of. "Probably my best service to the city was when I was in South Phoenix on a fire truck that's where I was most comfortable I'm not sure I ever got used to being an administrator."

Khan's last day as the fire chief will be February 28th.

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