Thread: Sean Whiten

  1. #1
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    Default Sean Whiten

    For those that did not know Sean he was the best fire instructor I ever took a class from. Probably half of my training I have taken was in one of Sean's classes. He was a great man and a great instructor.

    You will be missed Sean.

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    Default Rest Easy Sean

    I first met Sean Whiten in the summer of 1975. I joined a private swim club in Fallowfield Twp. and Sean was one of the regular, more popular people that belonged there. I was the outsider, I went to Monessen not Charleroi, but very quickly I befriended a number of people that were friends with Sean and eventually I got to know him pretty well. I remember thinking at first "damn, what a cocky and arrogant dude"! But that wasnt the case, sure Sean was cocky, but it was the quiet self confidence of a man that knew he would be successful at whatever he did. I played against Sean on the football field in High School and watched him play a few times in college and Im here to tell you, his scholarship to Indiana State was well deserved. In fact, if Sean were a few inches taller, the NFL could have been a reality for him. I lost track of Sean after college but over the years I would bump into him from time to time. He never changed. He was the same guy from the first day I met him. Quiet, confident, friendly and dedicated.

    I never had a chance to train under Sean but I knew he was a top notch instructor and Fire Fighter. I remember one time while I was working for Mon Valley EMS, a call came in just a few blocks from our California Station for a Chlorine Leak at the water treatment plant. My partner was a relatively new Medic and I teased her about her HAZMAT Readiness knowing full well she might have to treat whoever handled this call. We got to the staging area first and began to evacuate local houses and when I returned to the command post Sean had arrived and was suiting up in his HAZMAT gear to go in. He went alone. Confidently and purposefully he walked the hundred yards to the building with the leak and disappeared inside. A few minutes later he came back out, the leak secured, he returned to staging for rehab. I couldnt help but think about the courage and discipline it took for him to enter a dangerous and deadly environment like that, alone. As Sean rehabbed I went over and patted him on the back and said "Dam nice job Big Man". He just grunted and gave me a wink, all in a days work.

    I left EMS and Firefighting (burned out) around the same time my Son started in. He drove the Wheel Chair coach for Mon Valley EMS and was a Washington Twp fireman. I remember him coming home from working at Mon Valley and telling me about his new best buddy. The big badass Medic that was teaching him new things, like how to commandeer the TV at the base to ensure the football game was on. The best places to eat on the run, the important EMS stuff they dont teach you in class. It was some fun stuff but I could tell the way my son talked about Sean that he was totally impressed with him and looked up to him. My son took his essentials of fire fighting with Sean and he always came back from training with another Sean story.

    So it was no surprise to me that my son was devastated when he heard "Big Sean" had died. But Im also certain that hundreds of other firefighters and medics and emts and football players and people from all walks of life were also devestated by Seans passing. He touched a lot of people and had a lot of friends. I met Sean in the summer of 1975, My son met him in 2005. We both lost a friend. Rest easy my brother. You did all the hard work, its our turn to carry the hose and axe. And hopefully we will do it as well as you.

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    Default

    I was at the memorial tonight and it was an awe inspiring experience to say the least. I could not believe how many fireman I saw there. You know it is a shame that it takes something like this to happen to bring people together like it did. It was like a big home coming for me. I saw a lot of people from my old departments I belonged to out there. North Belle Vernon, Washington Township, and Fallowfield Township were the ones I belonged to and they were only three departments out of many that were there. So as you can tell Sean touched many peoples lives.

    I remember taking essentials with Sean and I remember in particular taking fire fighter survival with him. We were doing a drill where our air packs became entangled in wires and a simulated collapse happened. I won't forget how Sean tried to get me with the wire but missed and he was also the simulated collapse. So I keep crawling and he just jumps on me and then gets me with the wire. That drill was to practice calling maydays. When it all wrapped up I went up to Sean afterwards and said did I get away from you? He said Yea you did but I got you anyhow.

    I'll miss you Sean.

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    Default

    i realy admired sean i looked u to him i took esttainals twice he was my instructer i would like to thank sean for every thing it will be one year in 6 day that the tracic day occured

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