Jill Bronaugh
Communication Manager
Office of the State Fire Marshal
800 SW Jackson, Suite 104
Topeka, KS 66612-1216
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Press Releases

Wichita firefighter Rob Kanaga honored with Tom McGaughey Fire Service Award for Heroic Actions

OSFM | Nov 16, 2015

Each year, the Office of the State Fire Marshal joins with the Kansas StateAssociation of Fire Chiefs and Kansas State Firefighters Association to honor a firefighter for heroic actions above and beyond the call of duty. This year, the agencies are delighted to bestow the 2015 Tom McGaughey Fire Service Award upon Lieutenant Rob Kanaga of the Wichita Fire Department. 

Rob Kanaga

Lieutenant Kanaga was nominated for the award by Wichita Fire Chief Ronald Blackwell for Kanaga’s life saving actions at a multi-story apartment building fire on March 15, 2015. Lt. Kanaga was among the brave first responders to arrive at the scene and commenced extinguishing the fire in one of two apartments that were ablaze. Upon hearing an announcement that an occupant remained inside the adjacent apartment, Lt. Kanaga entered the apartment through heat, smoke, and reduced visibility, located a barely conscious person and was able to successfully remove the victim to safety.

“Lieutenant Kanaga’s efforts resulted in saving the life of the victim,” said Chief Blackwell. “His selflessness and compassion portray the image of a true public servant.”

The Tom McGaughey Fire Service Award recognizes exemplary accomplishments and acts of heroism by firefighters and other persons at fire-related incidents in Kansas. The individual is recognized for their acts above and beyond their basic duties and responsibilities, and for exemplifying the finest traditions of the fire service.

The award is named in memory of Wichita Fire Chief Tom McGaughey who perished in a fire, along with three others (Chief Fire Inspector Merle O. Wells, Firefighter Jimmy L. Austin and Firefighter Dale J. Mishler) at the Yingling Auto Dealership on November 21, 1968.

Kansas Fire Marshal Doug Jorgensen will present Lt. Kanaga with the award at the November 17 meeting of the Wichita City Council.