Wilkins was a Pullman firefighter for 43 years, and served as the chief for 27 of them. Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson said that one of the greatest things that Wilkins did during his time as chief was uniting the city's fire department with the university's.
"WSU pulled out of the fire service for years, they had student firefighters," said Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson. "Pat had to work on that transition, so he spent a lot of time up on campus working that transition."
Wilkins was also responsible for creating a paramedics service in Pullman. According to Johnson, Pullman currently has twelve full-time paramedics in the city and a lot of that can be attributed to Wilkins' insistence of hiring firefighter-paramedics.
Wilkins was also a high school referee and Cougar fan. He died at age of 73 on Friday, after a long battle with cancer. There will be a memorial ceremony held for him at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday at the Pullman Presbyterian Church.