(from left to right) Attorney General Bob Fergusson, Paul Golnik, Mike Brown, Jerry Preuss, Kim Senter. Wayne Senter and Murray Gordon.

WSHS grad Wayne Senter named Fire Chief of the Year

West Seattle High School graduate Wayne Senter was named the Fire Chief of the Year in Yakima at the 81st annual Washington State Fire Chiefs (WFC) conference on May 22.

He was presented the Dan Packer Fire Chief of the Year award by WFC President Murray Gordon and Executive Director Mike Brown. Also in attendance were Washington State’s 18th Attorney General Bob Ferguson, former state Senator and lobbyist for the fire chiefs, Gordon Walgren, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) President Hank Clemmenson and past IAFC President Al Gillespie. The Dan Packer fire chief of the year award is awarded by a committee representing Washington’s Fire Commissioners, Volunteer Firefighters, Professional Firefighters and Fire Chiefs from throughout the state. The award was named after fire chief Dan Packer in 2008 after his tragic death in northern California fighting a large wildland fire through state mutual aid.

Wayne Senter is currently the fire chief of South Kitsap Fire Rescue and previously was the Fire Marshal for the city of Auburn Fire Department where he started his fire service career as a Firefighter/EMT in 1979. Chief Senter was recognized for his work on stove top fire safety with the Underwriters Laboratory Fire Council, and accreditation and credentialing with the Center for Public Safety Excellence Board. He is currently the President of the Kitsap County Fire Chiefs Association, past President of Port Orchard Rotary International, past president of Washington Fire Chiefs Association and co-founder and past President of the IAFC Fire and Life Safety Section. In 2006 Chief Senter was named Man of the Year through the Port Orchard and South Kitsap Chamber of Commerce.

In his remarks upon receiving the award Chief Senter first thanked his peers for recognizing his professional contributions and then highlighted Dan Packer’s qualities of leadership, action and humility. To explain leadership, Chief Senter used the Hawaiian word Kina‘ole which has no real set definition but means, doing the right thing, at the right time, the right way, for the right person, for the right reasons. He then thanked the many mentors who demonstrated Kina’ole and invested in his professional success including his Fire Commissioners, staff, his wife Kim of 32 years.

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