Chief Kevin “Bubba” Malukas answered his last alarm March 7, 2021. He served the Coal Township Fire Department for 47 years, holding the rank of junior firefighter, firefighter, EMT, and EMS chief. In 1996, he became assistant chief, deputy chief, and then chief of the department, only to repeat these ranks again until his last day. He was found deceased by his son, who was on duty as a Coal Township police officer.
Kevin was born March 1, 1962, in Coal Township and was a proud lifelong resident. He had a very humble upbringing and was raised by his grandmother. Kevin graduated in 1980 from Shamokin Area High School.
He was a member of the East End Fire Company in Springfield since 1976, but his service to the area was felt well beyond the borders of the Polish Poconos. He assisted during mutual aid incidents, served as a mentor to junior firefighters—including his son—and volunteered to educate students on the importance of fire safety during Fire Prevention Week. He loved making doughnuts for Donut Day with the Coal Township Rescue.
In 1980, he became one of the area’s first EMTs, maintaining his certification until his death. He was immensely proud that his EMT number began with 00. He served with the Shamokin Area Community Hospital Medic 9, Regional Ambulance, and Fairview Fire Company.
Kevin worked for 24 years for the State of Pennsylvania, employed at Danville State Hospital. In his younger years, he enjoyed roller skating and worked at Skate-R-Way as a skate guard.
He was an active member of Mother Cabrini Church, where he helped with numerous church events throughout the year. He would take days off to spend Father’s Day weekend volunteering at the parish picnic and would sleep at the picnic grounds to protect the area.
Kevin loved starting his free days by eating at a local breakfast table where he would socialize with everybody around. Kevin would then galivant around the community, chatting with anybody he ran into. Very often he would be seen, along with his grand dog Haley and friends, sitting on a bench on Market Street.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Sandra, and their children, Valerie Malukas, Jennifer Price, and Kevin E. Malukas and his wife, Courtney; four grandchildren, Ella Price, Ava Price, Lukas Behr, and Brynn Malukas; a sister, Arlene “Snook” Barber, and her husband, James; and his sister-in-law, Diane Fessler.
Chief Malukas will be remembered for his leadership, mentorship, guidance, and humorous radio transmission, but most of all, his friendship to many. There are many Bubbas in this world; for us, there was only one.