Robert Metz Explores Fire Stations in the Communit


This KenCrest Nurse Care Manager helps an individual in Community Living by helping him continue his passion for working in fire stations.

By Sydney Kerelo

For 45 years, Pennsylvania resident Robert Metz has volunteered for the Warminster Fire Department and Ivyland Fire Department, significantly impacting these communities. As the son of a Fire Police Lieutenant for the Ivyland Fire Department, his dedication to public service is a tribute to his family's legacy.

Metz joined the fire station in 1972, following in his father's footsteps and joining the same department he worked at. In 1990, he became a Fire Police Lieutenant, serving for 15 years.

"I originally joined as a firefighter but only worked for four years because I have a coordination problem and I hyperventilate, so I can't wear the mask," says Metz. "So, I switched over to the Fire Police and became state qualified in '84, and in 1990, I became a Lieutenant."

He transferred to the Ivyland Fire Department and encouraged his father to join him. He was going to retire in 2004, but Metz convinced him to work as a Lieutenant alongside him.

Metz worked at Ivyland for 15 years until 2020, when he retired. Even in retirement, his passion for firehouses remains undiminished. He spends his time drawing intricate firehouse designs on his drafting table.

Photo courtesy of Susan Kronberger

He started his journey with KenCrest in February 2023, when he moved into an Adult Residential Community Living Home. KenCrest’s homes allow individuals to live in the community of their choice in a person-centered environment. Each home resides in a safe, accessible, and inclusive neighborhood and has access to transportation, employment, social activities, quality care, and more.

Metz’s home is located right near Fire Department Engine 46 in Philadelphia, and when he first moved in, he decorated the apartment to resemble his passion: fire stations. He has drawings and pictures displayed throughout his home. He didn’t want to leave; he just wanted to stay within his apartment, but his Nurse Care Manager, Susan Kronberger, who became a key figure in his life, facilitated his visits to fire stations and encouraged his passion.

"Since he retired, he has spent a lot of time in his apartment, which is one of the reasons I encouraged him to get out," says his Nurse Care Manager, Susan Kronberger. "I urged him to visit KenCrest's Smart Home, and on the way, all he talked about was firehouses and fire trucks. So when we got home, I contacted the firehouse near where he lives, Engine 46."

Metz and Kroberger scheduled a visit, and the firefighters at the station gave them a tour of the fire trucks and equipment until they were called out for a fire. As soon as Metz walked through the doors, memories of working on fire trucks and spending time at the station flooded back to him. He even discussed the equipment one-on-one with them, how it works, and what to do with it.

"It's clear his passion is firehouses and fire trucks; they're everywhere; he has them all over his apartment," adds Kronberger. "That is his sole focus, so I used that to try to get him out of his apartment, and now we're going to make it a monthly thing to visit different Fire Stations."

Photo courtesy of Susan Kronberger
Photo courtesy of Susan Kronberger
Robert Metz wearing his father's helmet // Photo courtesy of Susan Kronberger

Metz has spent his entire life surrounded by fire stations. Not only did his father work with him there, but his mother was with EMS as a volunteer until 1966, when she joined the fire company ambulance team. Working in a fire station is in his blood, and he was thrilled to be able to do something with them once again.

"I love working in fire stations; all my memories of my time in them and what I learned rushed back when I walked into Engine 46," says Metz. "I want to keep going."

This is what makes KenCrest different than other human services providers. Every employee is dedicated to supporting the people they serve and encouraging them to pursue their passions. Kronberger's dedication to Metz's passion for firehouses is just one example of how KenCrest's support can make a profound difference in someone's life.