KCFD captain retiring after 34 years

It's the end of an era in Maricopa.
Chris Hoover is retiring after more than two decades as a captain at Kern County Fire Department Station 22.
He spent the last day of a 34-year career with the KCFDon Jan. 4 working with engineer Felix Lesaca, his partner  for the last 14 years.

Hoover has been the B shift captain in Maricopa for 22 years, and he's going to miss the people he got to know there.

"I'm going to miss the camaraderie of the people I got to work with, people like Felix," he said. "I'm also going to miss the people I got to serve here in Maricopa. I got to know a lot of people here."

Some of the residents even stopped by in his last days to give him cards or have their picture taken with him.

The quiet pace of work in the small community of about 1100 people suited him, Hoover said.

Unlike busier stations, like Station 21 in Taft or the station in metro Bakersfield, he wasn't going out on a lot of late night or early morning calls.

"One of the nice things about working in Maricopa is you get to sleep most nights," he said. "In Maricopa, you don't get a call unless someone really needs help."

Before spending his final day in Maricopa, he worked four nights in Taft.

On the last night, he was called out at 12:30 a.m. for a medical aid.

"I thought 'this is the last time a call is going to wake me up," he said.
Hoover isn't going to completely sever his ties with the KCFD.
He'll be working part time in the fire prevention bureau a couple of days per week.
But his retirement will allow him to play his trombone in church every Sunday now, he said.