William C. "Bill" Brubaker
Firefighter, regional Coordinator, KS Division of Emergency Management
Lawrence High School
Mr. Brubaker joined the Lawrence Fire Department on Sept. 1, 1970. He was promoted to Captain in January 1983 and then to Major in 1988. He retired Dec. 15, 2001. He was responsible for fire training, 14 recruit academies and promotional assessments. His family had a long history with the fire department; their employment had been continuous since 1938.
After his retirement from the Lawrence Fire Department, Mr. Brubaker spent a short time working for Douglas County Emergency Preparedness. He joined the Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) as Northeast Regional Coordinator on Dec. 5, 2005. His interview was by phone because of his deployment to Hurricane Katrina response in Mississippi. He returned several times to Mississippi to instruct incident management to their State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the request of Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
Mr. Brubaker received the Instructor of the Year award from the Kansas Emergency Management Association in 2008. He received the Owen V. Turrentine Outstanding Emergency Management Professional Award for Kansas-in 2010.
He enjoyed being in the field working with his peers and helping people. He also knew the value of an emergency scenario exercise and was a Master Exercise Practitioner. He developed and delivered numerous exercises statewide. He led the State Deployable Resource Committee, which includes search and rescue teams, incident management teams, and the law enforcement working group. His thoughts on deployable resources forever changed the state's ability to respond and help community's recovery from disasters.
One of Mr. Brubaker's priorities was building a statewide Search & Rescue team for Kansas,
and this goal was achieved. He spent countless personal hours in recruiting and developing not only team members but securing sponsors and partners for funding and equipment. He was in the process of preparing for the fourth annual Kan as Technical Rescue Conference in September. When his endeavor began, Kansas did not have any search and rescue teams. As of today, Kansas has seven teams, one in each Homeland Security region; combined, they make up Kansas Task Force One.
Mr. Brubaker led the development of the Incident Management Teams and was one of the first team members deployed to support the Greensburg tornado response and recovery efforts and the 2007 Southeast Kansas flooding. His last days were spent in response to the Missouri River flooding.
Most of the emergency management and first responders in Kansas called him by the nickname "Fire Marshall Bill." Though employed at the state level, he was an advocate for local government and responders, and was their champion in all things emergency management and public safety.