How do you turn a dining room table into something that inspires and instills a sense of pride?
El Dorado Hills Engineer/Paramedic/Acting Capt. Rob Karnow did just that when he started the fire department’s Proud to Serve campaign. He turned furniture into art, complete with a golden firefighter’s helmet. The piece hangs above the doorway connecting Station 85’s apparatus bay to the office, reminding everyone who walks through that El Dorado Hills firefighters/personnel are proud to serve their community.
It’s this dedication to the fire department, and more, that earned Karnow the distinguished Firefighter of the Year award. Karnow, 44, received the honor at a recent Rotary Club of El Dorado Hills breakfast.
A firefighter since 1990, Karnow has worked all over the state and came to El Dorado Hills in 2000. The self-confessed thrill seeker said he loves the job’s challenges and lack of routine. “Who knows what’s going to happen next?” Karnow said.
When he’s not driving an engine, he’s on a bike. Karnow has participated in motocross events at the Firefighter Olympics. Karnow also promotes diversity in the fire department, explaining that employees with varied backgrounds and skills enhance an organization’s strength.
At the Rotary event, El Dorado Hills Fire Chief Dave Roberts said Karnow embraces the department’s core values: integrity, service and excellence. “For Rob, those are never just words,” Roberts explained. “That’s the way he lives his life.”
Karnow thanked the chief, his parents, fellow firefighters and Rotarians for the honor and said he really appreciates the department’s and community’s support. “This is where I landed on my feet and where I’m going to retire from,” Karnow said.