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Firefighters ready to golf, sleep

The South Lake Tahoe Fire Department lost two of its own. But former colleagues know where they can find retired Capts. Joe McKenna and Bob Hoy — on the golf course and catching up on sleep.

McKenna and Hoy, with more than 65 years’ experience in firefighting, will now wear civilian clothes.

After an informal at the station house on Pioneer Trail, McKenna took off for Southern California to see his daughter. Hoy had different plans.



“I’m going to enjoy the rest of my life sleeping all night,” Hoy joked. “I’ll learn how to sleep in ’til 7 a.m.”

Hoy joined the department in 1969; McKenna, in 1970.




Various firefighters had remarks for the two:

n “They’ve done a lot. They’ve been around a long time and we’re losing experience,” said SLTFD Division Chief Merle Bowman. “A lot of new people are coming in and they don’t know the impact this has.”

n “Both have given more service to the city of South Lake Tahoe than any of our firefighters,” said Battalion Chief Scott Douglass. “Bob Hoy had the most longevity of any city employee. It was fitting for them to leave together since they’re such good friends.”

n “I’m sorry to see them leave,” said SLTFD Chief Mike Chandler. “There is 65 years of experience walking out the door, but its not just that — it’s a friendship over the years. It’s hard to see someone leave when you shared experiences with them. Experiences in firefighting are fairly dramatic.”

n “When I had an opportunity to get in the fire service, I happened to know Capt. Hoy through a couple people,” said Lake Valley Fire Protection District Chief Brian Schafer. “He was one of the people who told me and advised me it was a great career.”

In the early ’90s, Douglass said, the Tahoe Daily Tribune wrote a story with Hoy’s name spelled as”Capt. Boy.” Colleagues have teased Hoy ever since and the Tribune regrets this decade-old error.

McKenna and Hoy expect to remain in the area. McKenna teaches cardiopulmonary resuscitation classes at Lake Tahoe Community College. Both are car aficionados. Hoy restores old cars, specifically Porsches, while McKenna specializes in European cars.

On Friday morning, amid handshakes and smiles, both men seemed comfortable with their departure. They had done their duty.

“The job itself is helping people,” McKenna said. “I don’t think you can have a better job.”

— Contact William Ferchland at wferchland@tahoedailytribune.com


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