This week we head to the Mohawk Fire Department for "Firefighter Friday," and talk with a wonderful volunteer Ken Palmer, who has been an active firefighter for almost 59 years.

Ken Palmer is no stranger to all the tasks and "behind-the-scenes" jobs firefighters have to do. He has been been a firefighter for nearly his whole life! You can see the shock on Naomi Lynn's face in the video (at the top of this page), when Ken says that this July will mark his 59th year as a firefighter. 59 years!!! Not only that, he has been at the Mohawk Fire Department for that entire time. Talk about dedication not only to the job, but to the community as well.

In the nomination, Jill (his daughter) mentioned he was a "chaplain for the Mohawk and Newport Fire Departments, and was Chief Fire Chaplain for New York State from 2012-2014." Now, Naomi wasn't sure what a "chaplain" exactly was (or what they did), but he does a good job explaining it (again, in the video above).

We then talked about what made him want to get into firefighting in the first place. And like all the firefighters we've talked to so far, it seems to run in the family. Ken says his dad was a firefighter, and as a kid he would hangout around the fire station. He adds that after he took care of all his schooling and college, he decided to join. And he's been a part of it ever since.

Ken also explains how he moved up in the ranks and was the Chief at the Mohawk Fire Department at one time. He was also the training officer for 32 years. Probably the best part of the video, is when Ken is talking about the passion he STILL has for his job. How when that alarm goes off in the morning he's ready to head out, and it's what he loves to do. He adds,

I call it a "calling," you can call it what you want. But I believe it's something we do and we love to do it, and that's why we spend the time to do it."

Not only is Ken involved at the fire station, but he's also involved in the community. Back in March he was a Red Cap Ambassador for "America's Great Heart Run and Walk." He is a heart survivor. 17 years ago, he had heart surgery... A quadruple bypass. But he was determined to continue to do what he does and get well as fast as possible. He likes to credit his quick recovery to being "well pre-prayered."

Naomi shared with Ken a line his daughter wrote about him on the nomination form. She wrote,

Dad proudly serves his community. He is a true inspiration to me and many others.

At the end of the video, Ken proudly adds that he's 80-years-old. Naomi wonders if anything will stop him, to which he replies, "No stopping me."

For all that Ken does in the community, for being a firefighter for almost 59 years, and for the kind words his daughter Jill sent in (when she nominated him), we're proud to recognize and honor Ken Palmer of the Mohawk Fire Department as this week's featured firefighter on "Firefighter Friday." Thank you again for all that you do.


Do you know of a firefighter who deserves recognition for the job they do, and all that they do in the community? You can nominate them to be a featured firefighter on "Firefighter Friday."




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