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Honoring Burlington firefighter Ky Duttlinger, who passed away from job-related colon cancer at 51

A memorial service is planned on Saturday to honor him for the years he risked his life for our community.

BURLINGTON, Iowa — A beloved hero with his colleagues and in the community. 

"Ky will be missed, he's done a lot for me," Burlington Fire Department Battalion Chief Todd Vanschoy, said. "Ky would give you the shirt off of his back."

Ky Duttlinger was only 51 when he passed away on March 23 from job-related colon cancer. Vanschoy has known him since 1997.

“Ky was a firefighters, firefighter,” Vanschoy said. “Ky knew what to do, and if something went wrong, Ky was one of those go-to guys.”

Ky was the departments union president. always looking out for others his co-workers say. His jobs in that role included contract negotiations with the city.

“Ky went above and beyond, he helped the whole state, career departments all over the state of Iowa, and now its our time to give back to him and follow in the footsteps that he laid down,” Vanschoy said.

His role evolved over the past few years into a mentor for the newer guys. One of those new guys being Fire Medic Andrew Skinner.

"Being a 20 year veteran, Ky was always calm," Skinner said. "He drove the engine and he was our engine operator, so he was manly pumping. But you knew that if Ky was running your engine that you would always have water, and that is kinda important in our business.”

Ky also loved to cook for his co-workers, making steaks, burgers and lasagna regularly his co-workers say. He also loved to fish, hunt and take people on trips.

“I’m gonna miss those two in the morning chit-chats at the coffee table,” Vanschoy said. 

The memorial service is planned for Saturday, April 1, in the gymnasium at Burlington Community High School. It begins at 11 AM. A procession will begin at 10:30 AM from the Central Fire Station to the High School. A map of the route is linked here. 

Ky's obituary can be found here.

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