After more than 28 years as a firefighter who has worked his way through the ranks, retired Division Chief Greg Kohn will take on a new role: Aggie.
Kohn, who has been with the Lewisville Fire Department for more than 25 of those years, retired June 30. Kohn pursued the firefighter life, following in his father’s footsteps. Now he will be following his sons Zach and Nick to Texas A&M to earn a master’s in public service and administration.
“I started this journey growing up around fire stations. My dad was a captain,” Kohn told the crowd at his retirement ceremony July 7. “I grew up crawling around fire trucks. Always told him, said, ‘Someday I want to be lucky enough to do this.’”
Kohn’s career began in Lancaster before getting a job with LFD.
He started out as a firefighter and paramedic before becoming a driver and engineer. He worked his way to captain and then battalion chief before his final role with LFD as division chief.
“Pretty much every step you can take,” Kohn said of his positions.
Capt. Darrin Murray said he had the privilege of working for Kohn when the two were at Station 3.
“When you talk about leadership and a guy that’s truly there for his guys in the department, this is your definition right here,” Murray said. “He’s more than just a leader and a mentor.”
Murray said Kohn believed in being transparent with his team and taking ownership of his mistakes. Murray intends to pass down the lessons he learned from Kohn and the values Kohn instilled in him to his own team.
“I want you to know you’ll never be forgotten,” Murray told Kohn.
Kohn said while a long career of daily death and destruction wore on him, he is going to miss the camaraderie of the fire department the most.
“Dinner time at the station was probably one of the best times in my life, getting to talk with and learn about their families and see how everybody’s doing,” he said. “It’s my second family and I’m going to miss them tremendously.”
Kohn made the decision to retire while celebrating his 27 year anniversary with his wife, Stacy, in the Bahamas.
“I would always get the feeling of, on a vacation, that I really didn’t want to go back and this was the time that I really meant it,” Kohn said. “My dad always told me I would know, and I just knew that it was time.”
Stacy Kohn said she enjoys having her husband around more. She recalled the anxiety that came with the bad calls, driving past a scene or hearing about fires in the news.
“You worry a lot,” she said. “It’s just a level of stress that a lot of people just don’t deal with on a day-to-day basis.”
Zach Kohn said like his father, he too grew up in fire stations, and it will be different not having his dad working with the department.
“[Nick and I are] both still in college, so he can come down whenever. That will be cool not having to worry about holidays, family get-togethers, that kind of stuff,” Zach Kohn said. “It will be nice to have that freedom and more time together.”
Before Greg Kohn starts working on his degree in January 2018, he will be working on two properties — one bought for his sons in College Station and one being built from the ground up in Highland Village for him and his wife. He also mentioned growing out his beard.
Kohn intends to join the workforce again once he’s gotten his master’s and he looks forward to spending more time with his family.