I have an extraordinary neighbor who lives down the street from me in Roseville: his name is Andy Whaley.  I met Andy and his family back in 2006, when he recruited my youngest son Brett to play T-Ball with his son Danny; we formed a friendship pretty quickly, based on our shared love of Volkswagens, the band KISS and outdoor sports (Andy’s an amazing surfer…I’m a mediocre bike rider). Andy was working his way up the ranks of the Sacramento Metro Fire District then; he’s a Captain now, and his unpredictable schedule means I see less of him than I used to.  However, he’s one of the first people in our neighborhood to recognize when a family needs something (and to organize a response), and that community-minded spirit was on full display this week as he and his team headed into the firestorms we’ve been reporting on since early Monday morning.  I reached out through a text message to Andy just as he was getting ready to head out of his station; I was hoping to get a first-hand perspective on what it feels like just before a firefighter literally jumps into the heat.  Andy politely declined to talk on the air, as it’s not protocol to speak with the media without consulting with the public information officer first. However, he promised to stay in touch so I (and the rest of our neighborhood) would know he was OK.  True to form, Andy was quick to thank ME for helping get information out to the public in a timely manner. True to form, a true hero…thanks, neighbor.

John Young



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