Panama City Beach Firefighter Chris "Whit" Whitmore Laid to Rest - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Panama City Beach Firefighter Chris "Whit" Whitmore Laid to Rest

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For Panama City Beach Fire Rescue's Chris Whitmore last call came Friday afternoon as thousands in Bay County watched a full service procession for a fallen firefighter.

"It's been a void and we want to do our best to honor him with firefighter funeral honors," said Beach Fire Chief John Daly. "We are going to do him proud."

Grown men in full service dress were drenched in their tears and the rain as they saluted their fallen brother as his gear passed by his station for the last time.

A Firefighter of the Year award winner in 2012, Whitmore was never one for the lime light.

"He didn't want any recognition for any rescues he did off duty or on duty," said friend and fellow firefighter Joey Alexander. "He was just a very humble person."

Chris served in the United States Air Force in Desert Storm and when he returned longed for that comradery.

"One of the best guys out there," said Alexander. "It's going to be a huge loss for us for us mourning him."

"I remember meeting Chris and he had a shirt and tie on," said Chief Daly of his first encounter with Whitmore. "He was looking for a job and I'm like you know you probably make more money to doing what you're doing, but that was kind of his dream to become a firefighter."

And friends he made and a friend he became to so many who came to honor him.

"He and I struck up an instant friendship," said Alexander. "We have some mutual friends from when we were younger.

"He was just the kind of guy that had no enemies and everyone was a friend."

"The outpouring had just been incredible especially those that knew him," said Chief Daly. "That's a tribute to him that they took the time and the comments are really heartfelt for sure."

Now, they plan to remember him but doing exactly what he loved.

"We are going to remember Chris by getting back on the rigs," said Alexander. "The engines, the ladders, the towers... we are going to make water rescues, we are going to fight structure fires, and that's how we are going to honor his memory every shift here at Panama City Fire Rescue."

Chris Whitmore was buried at Kent Forest Lawn in Panama City.