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North Tonawanda Fire Department says goodbye to its assistant fire chief in a special way

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 18:17:51-05

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW)  — Like every Thursday, Assistant Fire Chief Richard Kozak got up, got dressed, and went into work. But today, was a little bit different.

"Well, it was my last day of work so that was different," Kozak said.

After 27 years of service, Richard Kozak decided to retire.

"It's bittersweet," he said.

To celebrate him, members of the fire department sent him special messages on the Scanner.

They also had a lunch party to celebrate his retirement.

"It's been a great, great, great run," Kozak said, and he surely, will be missed.

"You become very use to working with someone from so long. The way he acts, they way he smiles, the way he's always here to support us and I don't think we're gonna get that from somebody else," firefighter Robert Orlowski said.

"He's probably one of the best bosses I've ever had," Fire Paramedic David Cole adds. "It was great to learn from him and use him as a mentor and moving forward I hope to use some of the lessons I learned from him moving forward in my career."

"Rick's the go to guy," Fire Chief Joe Sikora said. "He could fill in for me when I wasn't here and the amount of experience we're gonna lose with him will take a long to replace."