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Cumberland Fire Department member Kevin Foster wins WCSH "Teens Who Care" award and scholarship!

By Andrew Pollack on 04/28/2006 at 07:30 AM EDT

Take a minute to view this video. Most people will go their entire lives without learning how to be half as good a man as Kevin. I've known him for four or five years now and he just never ceases to amaze me. His work for the community is so tireless that this minutes long TV profile can't begin to cover more than just a few of the things he does. I've never met anyone who has raised more money for more projects, done more physical work on those projects, and been more ready to respond to absolutely any need in the community.

Aside from all the things shown in the video, Kevin is the only person who responds with our fire department's RIT (Rapid Intervention Team) even though he is not a structural firefighter. An exception was made for him to go with the RIT when available because his calm, solid, strength is an invaluable asset to our team as we go about the process of readying gear and preparing to enter a dangerous environment. In the time I've known him, I've never seen him lose that intelligent calmness that allows him to make good decisions in almost every circumstance. He's probably a better man than I am now, and is certainly a better man than I was at his age.

I should point out that his brother Adam, a few years older, is also a fantastic person and is a skilled firefighter I'm always glad to have with me at a fire scene. I think had Adam been just a few years older and more experienced, he would have been the Lieutenant on Engine 1 instead of me. One reason I'm sure of this, is that he made a huge effort right after that decision to support me in that role rather than being upset that it wasn't the other way around. Kevin and Adam both are the kind of people we all hope our kids can grow up to emulate.

Watch Kevin Foster's Profile

The full story is here:

-- From the story....

Kevin Foster, a senior at Greely High School, has been described as “caring, supportive, dedicated… a hard worker…. dependable, trustworthy, and selfless.” Kevin has been a coach and mentor for Greely’s Special Olympics team for some time, and when he discovered that “his” team didn’t have uniforms for their competition event, he took the initiative to find funding totally $1600 by personally soliciting donations from local businesses and individuals. Now these Olympians look like a team!

Kevin mentors three 4th graders with varying levels of developmental disability. His volunteer work with the disabled persists through the school year and throughout the summer at the MSAD 51 summer camp. Amy Jacobson, the teacher who has witnessed his commitment to these students, proclaimed that “as a special education teacher of eleven years… I have never seen a teenager who is so dedicated in volunteering his time to work with young children with disabilities.”

Kevin is in his 4th year as a Cumberland Fire Explorer, aiding fire fighters in fire calls. He is now Captain of the local program and supervises 16 fellow Explorers. Known for his happy disposition and his warm smile, Kevin received the 2005 Maine Youth Volunteer of the Year Award. Kevin will be attending the University of Maine at Farmington, majoring in Special Education.

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