SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Y'know sometimes you gotta be intense. But that's not what me and the crew here at WTOC thought 35 years ago when the new weather guy came up to us when we were leaving for supper and said there was a big storm coming and he needed to get on TV right away to warn folks, whether it was our dinner break or not. We thought the guy was out of his mind.
It turned out the new weather guy wasn't out of his mind nor was he a weatherman. He was a meteorologist – the first in the market – named Pat Prokop.
Prior to Pat there'd been a lot of very nice, very entertaining guys doing weather at all the stations. But Pat was a scientist – not a comedian – and he took the responsibility for keeping people informed and safe very seriously. The intensity that he displayed with that first big storm he maintained throughout every storm, every day and he made it a part of the way all of us see our responsibility to the public.
So today you can turn on any of the channels anywhere and hear how their team will keep you safe and watch out for the storms. Those are all followers – Patrick was the leader.
I can tell you from firsthand experience of him being here all night, sleeping on an air mattress in one of the offices between reports. He genuinely lived his responsibility to keep all of you as safe from all of that as he could. Every day for 35 years.
Patrick's retiring at the end of the month but we're blessed at WTOC to have the great team that he built to carry on his legacy of responsibility.
If you haven't already done, so please go on the WTOC Facebook page and say what I'm going to close with: Thanks Pat.