Kenneth Linot named Kansas VFW State Firefighter of the Year

Kenneth Linot, Derby Firefighter II, center left, was selected as the Kansas VFW 2018-19 State Firefighter of the Year. With him is, from left, Mayor Randy White; Jay Boyle, VFW Commander, VFW Post 7253; and Vance Hill, VFW Fifth District senior vice commander.

For Kenneth Linot, the major reward in his job as a Derby firefighter is clear: helping people in need and giving back to the community.

Linot, who has been with the department full time since 2012, was selected as the Kansas VFW 2018-19 State Firefighter of the Year.

He was presented with the award by VFW officials at the March 12 City Council meeting.

Linot said he is “very humbled.”

“It was unexpected,” he said. “Just something out of the blue.”

Linot was nominated for the award by Fire Chief Brad Smith, who cited Linot’s many career activities and accomplishments including being part of a team that rescued an elderly resident from his burning home in November 2016.

It was hard to pick out one individual in the department, Smith said, because “everyone carries the load,” but Linot is a solid representative of the staff.

“He’s a good reflection of what the department is all about,” he said. “It does make you proud.”

For his part, Linot credits his fellow firefighters for making his job go well.

Linot, 30, is a 2007 Rose Hill High School graduate. He went on to earn an associate’s degree in fire science from Butler Community College and has held a number of ranks and training levels including EMT, Fire Investigator I, hazardous materials technician and first responder for disasters.

He works extensively in education and fire prevention, including working with children who are involved in fire setting to help them understand the dangers of that activity.

Linot also works with high school students to give them an opportunity to see what the career entails.

Furthermore, he heads up Derby’s fire prevention program working with schools to educate young people.

In addition, he’s a volunteer with the Rose Hill and Douglass Fire Departments.

He lives in Douglass with his wife, Shawnell, and their three children.

Fire service runs in the blood line of the Linot family. His father, Melvin, is the deputy chief for Butler County’s Fire District No. 3, which his great grandfather helped start. His grandfather also was fire chief.

His older brothers also helped out as Rose Hill volunteers and one brother is now a fire marshal in Olathe.

When they were all in Rose Hill, there were many times when they got to meet up with each other – because they all responded to the same call.

Smith said Linot’s full slate of activities outside of responding to emergencies is an indication of what the field is like now.

“It’s not just sitting around waiting for the next call,” he said.

There is a lot of civic interaction, including education.

And Linot’s work in that regard has been especially important to Derby, he said.

“To me, fire prevention is one of the most important things we do,” he said.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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