By: Lisa Ferguson
Before graduating from Celina High School in 2010, the Kincaid triplets – Carl, Chris and Cody – were probably best known for playing side by side on the school’s football, track and powerlifting teams.
These days when the 26-year-old brothers are recognized around town, it is usually through their work as first responders. Carl and Chris have been firefighter-paramedics with the Celina Fire Department since 2014 and 2015, respectively, and last October Cody began as a patrol officer with the Celina Police Department.
“I think it’s a phenomenal opportunity that we get to come back to the community that served us growing up, and for us to be able to return the favor and serve them. It brings something special to the career,” Chris said. Also, “It’s a blessing that we (brothers) can all look after each other.”
The Kincaid family has a long history in Celina. Father Roger Kincaid formerly coached the powerlifting, track and football teams at Celina High School, and is currently an assistant head coach at Aubrey High School. Mother Kim Kincaid is principal at the Celina 6th Grade Center. Older brother Darren, a 2008 Celina High graduate who works for a Dallas-based IT services provider, lives in Gunter with his wife, Samantha, and 10-month-old son, Mak.
The Kincaids moved to Celina in 2002, when the fraternal triplets were in elementary school. Before then, they called Sanger home. It was there, as young boys, that they witnessed a large warehouse fire – a memory that Carl recalled during a 2016 interview with the Celina Record. “We stayed on the side of the street and we just saw these huge flames,” he said, adding that fire departments from neighboring communities also helped fight the blaze. “That’s when (he and Chris) knew we wanted to help people and serve a community.”
Meanwhile, Cody said it wasn’t until high school that he decided law enforcement was his calling. A hunting and fishing enthusiast, he had his sights set for a time on becoming a game warden, but opted instead to pursue a career that would keep him closer to home. “I’ve always asked questions … `Why does this happen,’ or `Why does this work this way,’” he explained to OurCelina about his curious nature. “I think that kind of led me to this. Obviously (as officers), we look for things and ask, `Why is … this person walking down the street at this time of night, or doing this or that?’ There is always that question of why in law enforcement.”
After graduating from Celina High School, the brothers attended Collin College. Carl and Chris studied at its emergency medical technician school, and Cody earned an Associate of Arts degree.
Carl continued his studies at the Fire Academy, while Chris joined the Paramedic Training program. Both began working in 2011 as volunteer firefighters for the city of Celina. “While we were in those classes, we decided we’d like to volunteer up here and give back and devote our time and see what actually being in the field was all about,” Carl told the Record.
Upon graduating from their programs, the brothers switched fields: Carl went to paramedic school, and Chris began his fire training. In 2012, Carl took a position with the Dallas Fire Department. The following year, Chris joined the University Park Fire Department. Nevertheless, “I think we both kind of knew in the back of our minds while we were performing out duties at our other departments that (Celina) is where we wanted to be,” Carl told the Record. “This is where we grew up, and the brotherhood within this organization and this fire service, the people is what drew is back into being a part of this organization and that’s really what it was about for both of us.”
In 2014, Carl returned to the Celina Fire Department full time. Chris, who followed in 2015, told the Record, “It’s a very close department and we all work seamlessly together … but we are fortunate and lucky enough to be blood brothers, and it is an opportunity that not everyone gets.”
Although policies preclude the brothers from being assigned to the same regular shift, the men do occasionally work together. “The whole fire department, we’re a big brotherhood. All these guys, they’re my brothers,” Chris told OurCelina. “But it’s different when you have your blood brothers walk onto the same scene or the same location as you. It might be a stressful situation but you’re just at ease immediately because the person you grew up with, that protected you, that you’ve protected, you’re working together now on an emergency situation. … It just makes it that much more calming.”
Just days after graduating in 2016 from the University of North Texas with a degree in criminal justice, Cody entered the police academy. Prior to that, in 2013, he had begun working with the Denton County Sheriff’s Office as a detention officer at the county jail. “I had a really good time there and learned a lot as far as how to communicate with people,” he said. During his 4 ½ years on the job, he served on the Special Operations Response Team, developed his training and defensive-tactics skills and was promoted to corporal. After learning about an opening on Celina’s police force, he applied and landed the position.
“The community has been very welcoming,” he said. “I’ve been with other agencies and they don’t have the same (community) support necessarily as Celina does. … The community gives back a lot to first responders here in Celina and … it’s awesome to have that support.”
On occasion, the brothers find themselves responding to the same service calls throughout the city. Whether it’s at a motor vehicle accident or conducting a welfare check, Cody said, “It’s good because … I have that connection with one of the firefighters (on scene). I can go straight to them and know what’s going on. … We grew up together, so we have a relationship and that unspoken communication. We can get things done and we just know how each other works. It’s pretty cool.”
Chris agrees. “Just to know that if something goes wrong on the police side of things that Cody could possibly be there for us. And if something goes wrong on the EMT and fire side that me and Carl will be there for each other, or be there for Cody. That’s how we were brought up. We’ve always been together and watched over each other, and now that we can do that in our professional world and our personal lives, it’s just an opportunity that I don’t think everybody gets. We’re truly blessed to have that.”
Kim said she and Roger are “very proud” of their sons, “and glad that they’ve chosen to serve in the community where they grew up. … As a mom, I’m very comforted to know that they’re here and they’re part of the community and that they’re working together in their jobs.”
The Kincaid brothers no longer reside in Celina. Carl and his wife, Celina High alum Kassi (nee Looper), live in Tioga, as does Cody; while Chris, wife Payton and their year-old son Kyson call Pilot Point home.
However, their current addresses make no difference to Celina Fire Chief Mark Metdker, who said, “For these guys to be … raised here and to have gone to school here, it kind of gives (the departments) even more of that hometown feel when you have hometown boys working here and wearing this uniform. It’s great for the citizens, it’s great for the community.”