A plaque was presented to Rob Kirk on behalf of the City of Gardner by Randy Gregorcyk, council (left) and Steve Shute, mayor (right). Kirk recently retired from Johnson County Fire District #1 after 34 years. Submitted photo

Lynne Hermansen
Special to The Gardner News
The Gardner City Council honored Rob Kirk, fire chief, at their Nov. 16 meeting. Kirk recently retired from Johnson County Fire District #1 after 34 years.
Kirk said he had spent most of his years mainly in Gardner since he started in public safety service at the age of 16, but it was time to step aside for himself and his health.
“Gardner is a very special place for me and always has been,” he said. “I’m very proud of the city.”
Kirk said it was amazing to him what was ahead for the city’s future. “We have done a lot of great things through the relationship between the fire department and city,” he said.
Kirk said they had accomplished a lot of things for and with the city. “We didn’t care what they were saying on the outside because we knew on the inside what was important to the city,” he said. “We changed things around and got things going. I’m proud to have worked with the people in that room.”
Kirk said he was proud to mentor and look over firemen. “I love the job and it’s been tough and will be,” he said. “You can’t just walk away from being a firemen.”
Steve Shute, mayor, and Randy Gregorcyk, council and fireboard member, presented Kirk with a plaque and tokens of appreciation for his 34 years of public safety service.
“He has been a tremendous asset to public safety and Gardner,” Shute said. “He has served with distinction for many years.”
Kirk said he appreciated the mayor and city council for everything they had done for him.
Rich Melton, former council member, was in attendance and spoke of his appreciation of Kirk and how most people didn’t know about the work he had put in to the city behind the scenes.
“Not enough can be said about Kirk and his time here,” he said. “He inherited a basket of worms and turned it into something spectacular.”