Philip started in the fire service volunteering for Tumwater, not long after high school, with a friend that dared him to volunteer with him. Philip fell in love with this career path and dedicated his life to it and the communities he served. He continued his education, became a paramedic, and started his professional fire career as a firefighter/paramedic in April 2004 in Grays Harbor. He was promoted to lieutenant in January 2015.
Philip was raised in a military family and had a great work ethic, due in part to his upbringing. He had enormous character and did the right thing even when no one was watching. His was honest, loving, and accepting of others no matter what the situation. He served in many capacities at the fire station, acting as the fire district’s health and safety officer and implementing a self-contained breathing air program for the district. He oversaw the selection of SCBAs for four agencies including his own and was instrumental in securing the grant for their purchase. He also was a trained SCBA repair technician. He was passionate about keeping firefighters safe. Philp was also active in wildland firefighting in his state. He completed and was posthumously awarded his engine boss certification, a goal he had been working on for three years.
His other contributions to the fire service are more than can be listed. He was an EMS evaluator, instructor, emergency vehicle instructor, and served as the training officer for his fire district. Philip was very active in the union. He attended the annual Washington State Council of Fire Fighters convention, serving as chair and co-chair of the rules committee for more than ten years.
Philip was dedicated first to Jesus Christ, then to his family, and then to the fire service. Philip finally found the love of his life, Jennifer. They got married in 2009, and he adopted her daughter.
Philip lost his life after a five-month battle with a rare and aggressive form of leukemia. He was actively working in the fire service when he started showing symptoms. He fought courageously and never asked, “Why me?” He said that he knew the risks of being a firefighter. He loved helping people and could not see himself doing anything else.
A piece of our hearts went with him when he left this earth to be with his maker in heaven. He left behind his wife, Jennifer; son, Andrew; daughter, Noelle; mother, Jane; brother Greg (Brenda); and sister, Sheryl (Doug), plus many other family members and friends.