From the fire station to the concert hall, the Kansas fire chief wears multiple hats

COLBY, Kansas (KSNW) – Kansas firefighter does more than protect his community; he spreads joy through music.

Colby Fire Chief Bob McLemore spends most of his day responding to emergency calls. When he’s not at the fire station he’s planning or getting ready for Colby’s bluegrass festival, Picking on the plains, or setting up the sound system for the picnic in the city park.

“I do sound for Picnic in the Park every Wednesday,” McLemore said of the June and July event.

Picnic in the Park, hosted by the Colby Chamber of Commerce, invites people to enjoy their lunch outside while listening to local musicians. McLemore has been part of the event sound team for over 20 years.

“It’s just a nice, relaxed atmosphere. It’s nice to see all the kids and kids playing having a fun and relaxed day, ”said McLemore.

“I think it keeps the community alive, and it just makes people feel like you are one big family. It brings everyone together, ”said Marita Shieck, a resident of Colby.

McLemore said making the sound of Picnic in the Park is a snap compared to the hours he spends each year on Pickin ‘on the Plains. McLemore is one of the founding families of the festival which has become a nationally recognized event.

KSN asked McLemore why he devotes so much of his time and talents to volunteering.

“I don’t know if I give more than anyone else. It’s just part of what you need to bring to life in a community like this. You are contributing to the community, ”McLemore replied.

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