Phoenix Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner diagnosed with breast cancer

Dec 11, 2019, 8:41 PM | Updated: Dec 12, 2019, 8:28 am

Phoenix Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner (Facebook)...

Phoenix Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner (Facebook)


PHOENIX — Phoenix Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner announced Wednesday night that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

“While this is unfortunate news, I have a positive outlook and feel confident that I will beat this,” she wrote in an open letter on the department’s Facebook page.

The post goes on to say that Kalkbrenner will undergo a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery Friday, and it is unclear whether or not she will need further treatment.

Kalkbrenner said she intends to continue leading the department after the initial recovery period from the surgery.

“In the interim, we are fortunate to have a bright, diverse executive staff and a supportive union,” she wrote.

Kalkbrenner mentioned in the post she discovered a lump in her breast several weeks ago.

“Our department is fortunate to have the exemplary team from the Vincere Cancer Center in our court,” she stated in the post.

“The physicians used state of the art diagnostics to determine the best course of treatment.”

At an April event introducing a free cancer screening program for firefighters, Kalkbrenner said, “You put a blue shirt on and become a firefighter your risk of cancer raises 25% by taking an oath.”

The screening program, she added that day, was “something very near and dear to me.”

Kalkbrenner joined the agency in 1985 and is one of only six female chiefs of large metropolitan fire departments in the country.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A man is dead after he was shot overnight in north phoenix....

Parking dispute leaves Phoenix man dead in overnight shooting

A man is dead after he was shot overnight in north Phoenix.

19 minutes ago

A 2-year-old girl died after falling into a backyard pool in Phoenix....

2-year-old girl found dead in Phoenix backyard pool

Detectives are investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl who was found in a backyard pool on Saturday in Phoenix.

2 hours ago

Firefighting crews are battling the Riverside Fire north of Fountain Hills. (Tonto National Forest ...

Bartlett Lake recreational areas north of Fountain Hills evacuated for Riverside Fire

The recreational areas near Bartlett Lake have been evacuated as firefighters battle the Riverside Fire north of Fountain Hills.

3 hours ago

A 2-year-old boy died after he was found in a backyard jacuzzi Saturday. (Pixabay photo)...

2-year-old boy found in west Phoenix jacuzzi dies

Detectives are investigating the death of a two-year-old boy who was found in a backyard jacuzzi on Saturday in west Phoenix.

4 hours ago

State's new budget a sore spot for attorney general - Here's why...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona AG ‘extremely disappointed’ with state budget cuts to opioid settlement funds

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes released a statement saying she is "extremely disappointed" with the state's new budget on Saturday.

5 hours ago

Bipartisan state budget of $16 billion passes in Arizona Legislature...

Associated Press

Arizona lawmakers pass bipartisan $16.1 billion budget, fix $1.4 billion deficit

Arizona lawmakers passed a $16.1 billion bipartisan state budget, which Gov. Hobbs negotiated with GOP leaders, on Saturday evening.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Phoenix Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner diagnosed with breast cancer