After 34 years of service, Rob Kirk, fire chief, retired on Sept. 14.
Kirk has served the southwest area from his start in 1987 as a volunteer with the Gardner Fire Department, later when it became the Gardner Department of Public Safety, and in 2006 as captain of the fire division.
After the consolidation between JCFD#1 Gardner, he was named deputy chief, and in April 2013 he was promoted to fire chief.
Kirk leaves a legacy in his service to our community. During his tenure, During his time in service, the has seen major growth in many ways – from new programs and divisions to an increase in call volume.
Some of the key areas of change are: Replacement of entire fleet;
Update of equipment; Creation of the Prevention Division; Creation of the Training Division; Creation of career pathway for Fire and EMS with USD #231; Ongoing support of the Wildland Programl; Creation of Unmanned Aerial Operations; Increase staffing to serve a rapidly growing area; New Fire Station build.
“ As Fire Chief, I have had the privilege of serving and working alongside some of the most talented individuals in the fire service who serve with honor and integrity, “ Kirk said. “I am immensely proud of our fire fighters and staff. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve the residents of Fire District #1.”
“We wish Chief Kirk all the best in his retirement and thank him for his service to the communities we serve,” said Mark Burdolski, fire board chair.
Dennis Meyers to serve as Interim Fire Chief
With the retirement of Kirk, Dennis Meyers has been appointed to serve as Interim Fire Chief.
Meyers began his career in 1969 as a volunteer with the Merriam Fire Department. In 1975, he was hired as a career firefighter with the Overland Park Fire Department. Over his 31 years with Overland Park, he worked through the ranks to become fire chief and held this position until his retirement in 2005. He also was vice president and co-owner of Conrad Fire from 2005-2014.
Meyers joined FCFD#1 as assistant chief in 2014. He was promoted to deputy fire chief in 2020. With over 50 years of experience Meyers has been instrumental in many aspects of the department.
“ We are very fortunate to have Chief Meyers serve as Interim Fire Chief,” said Burdolski. “His years in the fire service is impressive and the communities we serve are in good hands.”