Exec. asst. chief named interim Phoenix fire chief - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

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Exec. asst. chief named interim Phoenix fire chief

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Kara Kalkbrenner (Source: Phoenix Fire Department) Kara Kalkbrenner (Source: Phoenix Fire Department)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

After 32 years with the department, the Phoenix fire chief has announced his retirement and the executive assistant chief will fill the position until a permanent replacement is found, according to the Phoenix Fire Department.

On Wednesday, Phoenix fire said fire chief Bob Khan's last day will be Feb. 28. In a memo to his department, Khan said he wants to spend time with his 82-year-old dad who has Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

The department announced Thursday afternoon that Executive Assistant Chief Kara Kalkbrenner has been appointed the interim chief.

Khan joined the department in 1982 and Kalkbrenner came onboard just three years later.

Phoenix Fire said since Kalkbrenner was promoted to chief officer in 2000, she has managed the dispatch center and the public affairs sections. She currently handles the administration division of the department.

Kalkbrenner's husband is an assistant chief for Phoenix Fire assigned to the South Operations Division.

Phoenix city councilman Michael Nowakowski issued the following statement in the wake of Thursday's announcements:

"Chief Bob Kahn embodies all of the qualities of a top notch public servant. He rose through the ranks, during a 30-plus year career, because of his passion for the citizens he serves. He was instrumental in Spanish language immersion for our fire fighters and created programs that reduced water related fatalities to the lowest levels in 20 years. As sad as it is to see him leave, I honor his decision to be there for his father during his time of need.

"No one will ever replace Chief Kahn, but he could not have left us in more able hands than those of Kara Kalkbrenner, who will serve as Acting Fire Chief until the position is filled. Kara has been with the Phoenix Fire Department since 1985 and has served in many roles, including 15 years as a first responder and most recently the Executive Assistant Chief - the number two position in the Fire Department. I am confident in Kara's abilities to lead our Fire Department and look forward to working with her in this new capacity."

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