Community honors 'selfless' fire captain

St. Johns County Fire Capt. Kenny Krulish was 49-years-old

Published On: Jan 30 2013 04:54:26 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 27 2013 07:19:14 AM EST
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -

Friends, family and fire fighters said goodbye to fire Capt. Kenny Krulish in St. Augustine on Saturday.

Krulish, 49, died after after collapsing during a run in his neighborhood at World Golf Village. The cause of death remains unclear. His wife said she believes her husband may have suffered a heart attack while training for an upcoming race. She was behind him on a bicycle when he collapsed.

By all accounts, Krulish was instrumental in building the St. John's County Fire Department over the past decade, helping to train hundreds of local firefighters.

"He just lived and breathed this profession and this job,” said Fire Rescue Chief Carl Shank.

Krulish died last Tuesday. Earl Glissom, Senior Pastor at Anchor Faith Church, shared memories of Krulish’s vibrant spirit and servant’s heart.

"I remember one time especially. A girl in our church, she passed out. We have slanted floors and Kenny came in and got everybody back and helped this girl during that time,” said Glisson. “He was always like that; a selfless individual that was always serving others."

The man was known by many as "Capt. Kenny," a devoted family man and a dedicated and decorated firefighter. It was his role as mentor his friends and colleagues say he valued most.

"I was always impressed by his ability to take a rather mundane topic that's required for our firefighters to learn and to put a flare into it that allows him to teach something that our firefighters could retain,” said Michael Heeder with Bradford County Emergency Management.

Krulish started his career working in an ambulance in 1988. He quickly rose up through the ranks and kept his great pride and humor intact.

"He was always a jokester and always had a smile on his face. And I think that had a lot to do with the fire service as a whole because everyone enjoys each other’s company and Kenny exemplified that,” said Heeder.

His fellow firefighters told Channel 4 his legacy will live on in their service to their community.

"We really plan to take some of the ideas that he had hopefully run with them and make this a safer department for work and make sure that every firefighter goes home at the end of their shift,” said Shank.

Remembering SJCFR's 'Capt. Kenny'

Published On: Jan 25 2013 02:33:16 PM EST

Capt. Joseph Krulish Jr., a 24-year veteran of St. Johns County Fire-Rescue, died suddenly Tuesday.  He will be honored with a visitation Friday night and at services on Saturday.

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"It is with great sadness that St. Johns County Fire Rescue announces the passing of Capt. Kenneth Joseph Krulish Jr.," the department wrote in an email. "(He) passed away unexpectedly early Tuesday afternoon. We have expressed to his wife, Amy, and the immediate family the sorrow and grief of the entire department."