Wednesday Oct 31 2012
Another View: The legacy of volunteer Ken WhitmanBy: Jon Brines, Placer Herald correspondent
Longtime Rocklin Fire volunteer Ken Whitman passed away Oct. 12, just hours after his friends, family and fellow firefighters exalted him with their love. While cancer took him from us, his legacy and his words will live on.
In his last interview Oct. 11, he was very humble about the reasons he was awarded the Fire Chief's Legacy Award for service to the community. He spoke about the department giving him something back – training.
Ken is one of the unsung heroes doing great work behind the scenes who rarely gets commended. He started his career in law enforcement and decided he wanted to learn how to be a fireman because, he said, one time he felt helpless watching a double house fire burn in his neighborhood. So he became a Rocklin Fire volunteer back when they did fire suppression. In his day job, for California’s Police Officer Standards and Training, after 9-11 Ken developed the guide post study on how to develop regional training facilities for law enforcement. He was the lead on creating the curriculum for the synergy between police and fire after 9-11 for counter terrorism tactics in California. All while he was with us as a local volunteer.
His steadfast work ethic and dedication to giving of himself while keeping a close family should be inspiration for us all. Ken helped procure the firefighters’ badges they wear every day over their hearts. Whenever I see one I'll remember Ken's outlook on service and challenge myself to give back to the community.
Ken Whitman, what a class act to follow.