Volume 3 Number 42
October 16, 2006

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On Saturday evening, Florida lost an outstanding public servant who dedicated his life to serving and protecting his community and improving the lives of youth.

Lake County Sheriff Chris Daniels passed away in a tragic accident while helping to raise money for the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches.   My thoughts and prayers go out to Sheriff Daniels’ family, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and the residents of Lake County.   

“Success is not the key to happiness,” said Albert Schweitzer, a humanitarian who also dedicated his life to helping others. “Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

Sheriff Daniels’ untimely death occurred while he was doing what he loved, making lives around him better.  His life ended too soon, but his legacy will live on in the many lives he touched.



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FLORIDA FALLEN FIREFIGHTER MEMORIAL
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MEMORIAL SERVICE TO HONOR FOUR FLORIDA FIREFIGHTERS WHO DIED LAST YEAR IN THE LINE OF DUTY

The 2006 annual Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service was held Friday, October 13, 2006, at the Florida State Fire College in Ocala. Four firefighters who died in the line of duty last year were recognized for their bravery and dedication to serving the public.

The fallen firefighters honored were Lieutenant Dennis J. Bottge, 53, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue; Senior Forest Ranger Henry D. Hobbs, 37, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Forestry; Firefighter Recruit Karl “Kliff” Kramer, 22, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department; and Lieutenant Frank Kucera, 43, Seminole County Fire Rescue.

The deaths of these firefighters along with 131 others who have given their lives “will not be forgotten and will not be in vain,” said Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Tom Gallagher. “I speak for all Floridians when I say that we are extremely grateful to these men and women for answering the call to serve and to their families for their support of them.” CONTINUED


 
 

GALLAGHER REVOKES LICENSE OF AGENT WHO SOLD BOGUS STUDENT ACCIDENT POLICIES IN SOUTH FLORIDA

Tom Gallagher, Florida’s chief financial officer, has revoked the license of a Miramar insurance agent who sold bogus student accident insurance to schools, churches and athletic groups such as soccer associations, football leagues and cheerleading groups.

Jeffrey Edward Born, 44, sold at least 39 policies that listed an insurer that did not cover the policies in question. Born agreed to the revocation and Gallagher permanently barred him from working in Florida’s insurance business.

“It is unconscionable that this individual left hard-working families and children vulnerable in an emergency,” said Gallagher, who as CFO oversees the Department of Financial Services. “And I’ve taken action to ensure he never rips off another insurance consumer in Florida.”
CONTINUED





DFS EMPLOYEES AMONG RESPONDERS RECOGNIZED FOR HURRICANE KATRINA RESPONSE

Members of the Division of Insurance Fraud and the State Fire Marshal’s Office were among about 200 state emergency responders on hand Wednesday to accept an official thank you from Governor Jeb Bush and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour for assisting Mississippi in its recovery following Hurricane Katrina last year.  

Florida sent more than 7,000 responders and more than $80 million in aid in what is being described as Florida’s largest state-to-state assistance in history.

 “I am extremely proud of the thousands of Florida emergency responders who selflessly aided impacted communities along the Gulf Coast recover from catastrophic Hurricane Katrina,” said Governor Bush. “Florida received help from more than 35 states during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, and we remain steadfastly committed to aiding our neighbors in times of crisis.” 

 “On behalf of the people of Mississippi, it is an honor to thank the thousands of Floridians who provided tremendous assistance to our state in our time of greatest need,” said Governor Barbour.

Tom Gallagher, Florida’s chief financial officer and state fire marshal, commended not only department personnel who were deployed to Mississippi but also those who remained behind to respond to the needs of citizens in South Florida also impacted by Hurricane Katrina, the state’s sixth storm in just over a year.  

“It’s a real testament to the kind of people we have in this department,” Gallagher said.  “We stretched our resources so we could lend a hand to our neighbors in need, and I thank every one of our employees who helped make that possible.” CONTINUED


 

EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION CAN BE ON FILE THROUGH YOUR DRIVER LICENSE

Florida residents can now register information with the state so police can quickly contact relatives in an emergency.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles unveiled the program on its Web site.

The program adds phone numbers to driver license information that only law enforcement officers can access. The state said nearly 13,000 people signed up in the system's first week.

Here is how it works:

Log onto www.hsmv.state.fl.us/ and click on "Emergency Contact Information."

Then input your driver license information on the first screen and input one or two emergency contacts on the second page.

Residents without computers should go to a library or get help from a friend as there is currently no way to phone in or mail that information. CONTINUED


ENROLLMENT IN VOLUNTARY PRE-KINDERGARTEN INCREASES 

Lt. Governor Toni Jennings announced that only two months into the program's second year, enrollment in Florida's Voluntary Pre-kindergarten (VPK) program has surpassed last year's total enrollment.

Currently, more than 97,000 students are enrolled statewide. The number is expected to continue to increase as parents enroll their children throughout the year.  The total school year enrollment last year, from August 2005 - June 2006, was 96,295 students.  VPK is a free statewide program that prepares 4-year-olds for kindergarten.  Children who are 4 years old on or before September 1, 2006, are eligible to receive free VPK instruction.  Parents interested in enrolling their children should contact their local Early Learning Coalition.  To locate a local Coalition, please visit www.vpkflorida.org.