Every first responder we honor for First Responder Friday exudes an enormous amount of passion and dedication to their community. But Kenneth Palmer from Mohawk may just have the most years of service and care under his belt.

This summer, Palmer celebrated 62 years as an active volunteer firefighter with the Mohawk Fire Department. He's getting ready to turn 84 years old in September, at which point he'll have spent almost 74 percent of his life in service.

Over the years, Palmer has held a number of titles, including Fire Chief, President and Vice President of the Herkimer County Fire Chief's Association, Chaplain, and Chief Chaplain for the New York State Fire Association. He has also served the Newport Fire Department as a training officer and Chaplain.

Palmer's daughter, Karen, nominated her father for First Responder Friday, calling him a hero... and rightfully so.

"My father is a true hero and has taught me the true meaning of dedication, inspiration, unconditional love, faith and passion," Karen Palmer wrote in her submission. "To this day my father still goes to fire calls and to me his dedication goes without saying."

New York Representative Claudia Tenney honored Palmer for his years of service in the U.S. House back in 2018, acknowledging the leadership and courage he continues to show.

"On February 25, 2000, Ken underwent successful quadruple bypass surgery," Tenny said. "Despite the hardships he endured during this stressful time, Ken had a strong support system. He often credits his beautiful wife, Sharon, and so many family members and friends praying for him, from New York to California, during his enduring struggle. Now, as a red cap ambassador for the American Heart Association, Ken provides compassionate support to others suffering from heart disease and heart-related illnesses."

After 62 years of service to Central New York, Ken Palmer is certainly a hero in our books and we are proud to honor him for First Responder Friday. Thank you for all you continue to do, Ken!

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Do you know a first responder that deserves to be recognized? Tell us about someone who should be honored in central New York - a firefighter, police officer, EMT, forest ranger, paramedic, DEC officers, military, rescuers or any other person first on the scene.

Include their name, a picture and why they should be recognized during 'First Responder Friday,' presented by Martin, Harding & Mazzotti.

We'll honor one first responder every Friday and as a way to say thank you, we'll give them a bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes.

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