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'I'm going to miss the people': Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue Chief retires after 7 years of service

Fire Chief Kevin Kloehn retires
Posted at 6:31 PM, Jan 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-05 19:48:55-05
  • After over 30 years of service with Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue, and seven years as its Chief, Kevin Kloehn is retiring.
  • Watch to see him honored by his community members, and hear him talk about some of his favorite moments in his career.
  • "I'm not sure what retirement means... because I'm not one to sit still," he said.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story, edited for the web)

“I'm ready to retire, but I'm going to miss the people,” said Fire Rescue Chief Kevin Kloehn.

Friday marked his last day at the Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue station. After that, his retirement began.

“Attention all stations, attention all stations. Winnebago Communication Center with a final tone out for Fire Chief Kevin Kloehn after 31 years of dedicated service to the cities of Neenah and Menasha.”

A bittersweet ceremony was held Friday in honor of Neenah and Menasha's retiring fire chief.

“The really neat thing about Kevin is he's always got a smile on his face. Always looking at everything with a very positive attitude.”

State Representative Lee Snodgrass presented Kloehn with a citation of commendation for his years of service.

Neenah and Menasha's mayors shared their gratitude for his years of service as well.

"So what does retirement mean?" I asked Kloehn, after the ceremony.

"I don't know," he replied. "I'm not sure what retirement means... because I'm not one to sit still."

He says it's hard to wrap his head around the fact that this day has come.

"In seven years we have accomplished so much," Kloehn said.

The most recent accomplishment that he says his team has been working hard to earn:

“It was our ISO one rating. We tried several, several times to become this class one fire department and we just kept sitting at class two, which is still really good,” Kloehn said.

ISO stands for Insurance Services Office. It's a type of public protection classification.

“It's a rating of how safe your community is,” Kloehn explained.

He says after all he's accomplished, what's next for him is spending time with his family.

"My other family," he clarified, laughing.

“It's been a great ride. I can't- I couldn't even see myself doing anything different,” said Kloehn.

It's impossible to condense an entire career into one short article, but above all, Kloehn says he leaves behind a good team of capable firefighters, and the station will be in the good hands of its next fire chief, Travis Teesch.

At the end of the work day, a final tone for Kloehn's shift sounded.

“...On behalf of the Comm Center, Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue, and the citizens of this community, we thank you for your service and wish you safe travels. You will be greatly missed.”