Fire department captain retires after 28 years

The fire chief said goodbye to a brother.

"After many long years of dedicated service to the community," Capt. Ed Kiewicz was honored with a plaque and carrot cake upon his retirement by Carson City Fire Chief Lou Buckley on Thursday.

Kiewicz joined the Carson City Fire Department on Aug. 11, 1974, and finished his last shift this morning.

"Thank you for being a brother in this department," said Buckley to Kiewicz as he handed him the plaque.

Kiewicz gave a short speech.

"It's been a good career and a noble cause," he said, smiling. "It's all behind me now, and I'm moving on to a new stage in my life."

Surprised at the brief comments, someone in the crowd of firefighters and paramedics called out, "That's the shortest you've talked in a long time!"

"Did I hear Ed say 'cake fight'?'" joked another.

That's the kind of friendly ribbing that makes the stress of serving with the fire department bearable for 28 years.

"It is a brotherhood," said Kiewicz. He described the tight-knit feel among Carson City firefighters.

"Knowing that in any kind of hazardous situation, no matter what, that you have these guys behind you, that's what it's like."

He said he also has enjoyed serving the people of this community.

"I feel absolutely privileged to have served the citizens of Carson City," he said.

Les Groth volunteered with Warren Engine Co. for 19 years and was the city's first paid fire chief. Groth was also at the soiree honoring Kiewicz.

Groth hired Kiewicz 28 years ago. "I don't have any regrets about that," Groth said.

Buckley also had good things to say about Kiewicz. "He's always had a very positive attitude, which has had an impact on both the citizens of Carson City and this department. He's been very willing to put forth the extra effort in order to do an outstanding job."

Kiewicz now plans to build a house in Silver Oak.

"That ought to keep him busy for a while," said his wife, Georgia.

Kiewicz has a collection of cars he is working on, including a viper-blue 1937 Chevrolet coupe, a 1955 Chevrolet and a 1967 Camaro.

"I've got a 1959 Corvette in the wings that's coming up next," he said.

Part of the idea behind his new house is to have enough garage space to store his cars.

"I'm a maniac about it," he says. "I'm one of those guys who believes there is no such thing as too much horsepower."

His son, Michael Kiewicz, came from Honolulu for the party.

"I'm so happy he's retiring already," he said. "He's been talking about this for, let's see, like eight years," Michael Kiewicz said.

"Then he'll walk away, and it'll be over," he said. "Now we have to get him out to Hawaii."


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