Chamber Tips Cap to City’s First Responders

Cpl. Kenric Wu (left) and Firefighter/Paramedic Russell Wilcox were recognized by the San Marino Chamber of Commerce at a special event.
Cpl. Kenric Wu (left) and Firefighter/Paramedic Russell Wilcox were recognized by the San Marino Chamber of Commerce at a special event.

For 10 years, the San Marino Chamber of Commerce has made a point to honor the city’s distinguished first responders, and the city’s police and fire departments have had no issue supplying it with candidates.
This year, Cpl. Kenric Wu from the San Marino Police Department and firefighter/paramedic Russell Wilcox from the San Marino Fire Department were recognized by the Chamber at its annual Police and Fire Appreciation Luncheon. Representatives from local legislators’ offices also were on hand to recognize the first responders.
“I am extremely honored to be receiving such an important award,” Wu told the attendees at the San Marino Center last week. “I’m grateful for the recognition of my work for the past 10 years as a San Marino police officer.”
“We feel the support that we get from our community and from the leadership we have in the city,” Wilcox said. “That helps us provide the best care to our community around us.”
Wu, a 1992 San Marino High School graduate, was a military intelligence officer with the U.S. Army when he started working for the city — at the public library. During a deployment to Kosovo, Wu’s company commander was a sergeant with Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and introduced him to the law enforcement career.
Wu was sworn in as a police officer with SMPD in 2007 and has crafted a reputation for his outreach and relationship with the community that helped raise him.
“Just this past Sunday, Kenric and I spent a few hours with the neighborhood watch program on Lorain Road,” Police Chief John Incontro said, while introducing Wu. “His passion for the service and ability to connect to the community is extremely helpful to our personnel. Additionally, he made a strong impression on the community members who attended our National Night Out. Here at SMPD, we are grateful to be his partner and for his partnership with the community.”
Wilcox, a Santa Cruz native, has been with SMFD for 20 years and has distinguished himself as “our tour guide,” according to Fire Chief Mario Rueda. Wilcox usually takes lead whenever the department presents an educational event to local students and he also runs CPR classes for SMPD officers.
Rueda told the crowd an anecdote about how Wilcox and his colleagues recently responded to an emergency call about chest pains. Although the signs essentially indicated it likely wasn’t a big deal, Rueda said Wilcox had a feeling otherwise. It was lucky he did, because the woman went into cardiac arrest while they were bringing her to a hospital in San Gabriel.
“Because of their experience, because of their intuition, because of that service, Russell was able to administer the appropriate drugs right away and bring her into the hospital,” he said. “She got her pulse back that morning. I thought that was really special.
“He really is one of what I call our special firefighters, for the amount of service he’s given to our department,” Rueda added.
One other anecdote emerged from the event. Wilcox’s son, Zack, is on the cusp of earning his Eagle Scout stripes and has Wu to thank in part for that. Wilcox explained how Wu helped his son in earning one of his badges.
“I think it was in shooting,” Wilcox said.
The SMHS chamber choir opened the luncheon by performing both “America the Beautiful” and “Tell My Father” from the musical “The Civil War.”

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