Volunteer firefighter gets award

LACEY: Ken Roberts has been with Fire District 3 for 20 years

ckrotzer@theolympian.comJune 23, 2012 

A volunteer firefighter who has worked for 20 years with Lacey Fire District 3 has been named the 2012 Washington Firefighter of the Year.

Ken Roberts received the honor during a banquet for the Washington State Fire Fighter’s Association in Wenatchee.

He was nominated through an anonymous submission, according to Lacey Fire District 3 Chief Steve Brooks.

Roberts, a state worker who started volunteering in 1992, also was selected as the 2011 Firefighter of the Year by his own department.

“The road to firefighter of the year is generally long and arduous, full of many opportunities to lead by example,” said WSFFA President T.J. Nedrow in a news release. “I can personally say that I have been witness to many of his acts worthy of firefighter of the year.”

The release described Roberts as “just one of those likable people who can be counted on.”

In addition to being a volunteer firefighter, Roberts also is a fire investigator, assists in public education outreach, and is a representative with the Washington State Board of Volunteer Firefighters.

Having a volunteer stay with a department for so long is uncommon, Brooks said.

“We’ve seen the average volunteers serve three years or less,” Brooks said.

Brooks said Roberts will be recognized locally at one of the upcoming fire commission meetings.

“He has always been one of our most consistent and faithful volunteers,” he said.

Roberts is one of about 15 volunteer firefighters with the department. Brooks said that in some years they’ve had as few as three – one of whom has always been Roberts.

“He’s always willing to help educate and train the new volunteers when they come along,” Brooks said.

ckrotzer@theolympian.com 360-754-5476 theolympian.com/thisjustin @chelseakrotzer

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