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Mike Buckingham dies from cancer; longtime Kent Fire, Kent Police supporter

Mike Buckingham died Jan. 2 from his battle with cancer. He was an active participant in Kent Fire Department and Kent Police programs to combat drunk driving. - COURTESY PHOTO
Mike Buckingham died Jan. 2 from his battle with cancer. He was an active participant in Kent Fire Department and Kent Police programs to combat drunk driving.
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO

The Kent Fire Department posted the following notice on its Facebook page about the death of Mike Buckingham, 61, of Enumclaw, who spent years with the Kent Fire Department and Kent Police programs to combat drunk driving:

Gone, but not Forgotten

On Jan. 2, former Washington State Patrol Trooper Mike Buckingham passed away following his battle with cancer.

Mike was a longtime supporter of public safety and participant in many Kent Fire Department RFA events. Those events included numerous Gift of Life presentations and Boeing Kids Day. He also worked for the Kent Police Department’s Drinking, Driving Task Force as well as the Kent Police Traffic School and Public Education unit. In 2001 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for his many contributions.

Outside of the Kent Police and Fire Departments, Mike taught driver-ed classes, and was part of the King County Traffic Safety Commission. He also gave speeches for ICBC (Insurance Corporation of British Columbia) as a road safety speaker and was a board member of the WSP Memorial Foundation.

Mike’s expertise was hard won. In 1981 he was severely burned when his patrol car and a drunk driver’s vehicle he was pursing crashed into each other. Because of the severity of his burns, he was never able to return to active police duty, dedicating his life instead to other forms of public safety.

The Mike Buckingham Award has been created by the Washington State Patrol. This award goes to WSP employees who have been involved in a critical incident and suffered significant physical injuries.

Mike’s funeral service was Thursday afternoon, Jan. 16, at the New Life Church, 15711 152nd Ave. S.E., in Renton.

Donations, in lieu of flowers, can be made to the donor’s favorite charity in Mike’s name.

To learn more about this extraordinary man, go to https://wastatecops.org/node/3395.

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