TROY — She served as the right-hand woman for four fire chiefs and after more than three decades of service, Troy Fire Department administrative assistant Kim Rohr leaves the department she has called her second home.
At the age of 19, Rohr was hired as the city’s first fire department administrative assistant in May 1983, and will officially retire on May 2.
“When I got hired 33 years ago, I had more dads than I knew what to do with — that’s the truth,” said Rohr with a laugh. “I was young and had all these old guys I worked with and they were all overprotective.”
Rohr served as an assistant first under the late Chief Robert “Bob” Counts, Chief John Denney, Chief Chris Boehringer and current Chief Matt Simmons. Rohr remembered how all the paperwork was done by hand early in her career before computers and other duties changed with technology.
Rohr began her career under the wing of the late Chief Bob Counts, whom she said she enjoyed working with the most as his “right-hand person.”
“Even though I was young, he showed me the ropes. He had been doing the job before, so he molded the position for me and he trusted me to just do the job. I think that’s why I’ve done so well over the years — because I knew what to do and come in and get it done,” she said. “I love my job and I love the guys I work with. You learn a lot when you are here. I didn’t know anything about fire or EMS and now I do.”
Rohr said one of her favorite career-related memories is attending an International Fire Chief conference with Chief Counts in Kentucky.
“The respect I saw among them, not just Chief Counts, who was so well-respected, but for all the fire chiefs, was a great experience,” she shared. “The things I learned just as a secretary and just seeing the camaraderie of the fire department and among all the fire chiefs and how they all seemed so well-connected was a great memory.”
Rohr shared that she still feels the adrenaline of the fire calls as she watches the city’s first responders load up and head to the scene. One of the duties Rohr had for years was dispatching calls to the department before the Miami County Communication Center took over the responsibility.
Rohr recalled the Days Inn fire as “her biggest fire” and rattled off the city’s major fire events over the three decades.
Rohr said she has enjoyed spending time with all the retirees of the department and still visits with them and will continue to do so now that she’s a retiree.
“I really am going to miss the guys. That’s going to be the hardest part. I’m still really close with the retirees and I know I’ll stay in touch,” Rohr said. “I loved my job and I loved my career. It’s just time to do something else.”
Rohr shared that there was one person she wished could have seen her celebrate the end of her career — the man who was there on her very first day of service.
“I wish Chief Counts was here to see this,” she said with a smile. “I talk to his wife quite frequently and I do wish he was here to see this … he was like a dad to me.”
As for retirement plans, Rohr plans on spending time riding motorcycles and spending more time with her three grandchildren, friends and family.