Dear Fellow Floridians:
Today I attended the Annual Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service at the
Florida State Fire College in Ocala. The Memorial was dedicated on January
11, 1992, at the Fire College to honor those selfless Florida firefighters
who made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in the line of duty to
protect their fellow Floridians.
As Florida’s State Fire Marshal, I am humbled to be able to honor these
incredible men and women. Being a firefighter is a calling, and today we were
all reminded of the choice that these men and women made. Whether as a volunteer
or as a career, a firefighter chooses to serve.
The best way we can memorialize these exceptional men and women is to take
every opportunity to emulate the qualities and courage they chose to live by.
Let us all take a moment this weekend to remember and honor the firefighters in
your communities who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our lives, our
homes and our communities.
Those being honored:
Stewart Baker: Winter Garden Fire
Jack Barker: Tampa Fire Rescue
Loran Cochran: Hollywood Fire Department
Rufus Harrison: Wetumpka Vol. Fire Dept.
Scott Maness: US Fish and Wildlife Service
Leonard Rubin: Miami Beach Fire Dept.
Beau Sauselein: US Fish and Wildlife Service
View the program for the
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida
Strike Force Executive Director Appointed
Chief Financial Officer
Jeff Atwater has announced the appointment of attorney and fraud investigator
Charles T. (Chuck) Faircloth as the Executive Director of the Medicaid and
Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force. CFO Atwater signaled that Faircloth’s
broad experience fighting fraud and false claims against the State of Florida,
along with his criminal investigation background, will be tremendous assets for
the Strike Force.
CFO Atwater chairs the Strike Force. Its mission is to oversee and coordinate
state and local efforts to eliminate Medicaid and
Assistance fraud and to recover state and federal funds. The Strike Force also
provides recommendations and policy alternatives to the Chief Financial Officer.
Faircloth is a career fraud prosecutor and investigations manager for the
State of Florida. He began his career with the Office of the Attorney General in
1990. Faircloth most recently served as Managing Attorney for Criminal Law with
the Department of Financial Services and Counsel to the Strike Force. Faircloth
previously served as Inspector General for the Agency for Persons with
Disabilities and as Chief Assistant Attorney General for the Medicaid Fraud
Control Unit, part of the Office of the Attorney General. He also served as
Chief of Workers' Compensation Fraud for DFS’ predecessor agency, the Florida
Department of Insurance.
Free Workshops for Women’s Small Business Month
Women and minority business owners contribute significantly to Florida’s
economy. In fact, in the United States, eight-million women-owned businesses
generate revenue of roughly $3 trillion each year and Florida ranks fourth in
the United States for the number of women-owned businesses.
CFO Jeff Atwater, with the launch of his financial literacy campaign, Your
providing interactive financial education through a series of Women's Small
As a part of Women’s Small Business Month in October, free workshops are
being offered in four cities: Tampa, Jacksonville, Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando,
and will address areas of financial concern; specifically the programs will
provide easy-to-understand training and financial education that will increase
knowledge and improve the success of businesses, not only locally, but across
Any small business owner is welcome to participate in these workshops.
The next workshop will be held in Ft. Lauderdale on Friday, October 14th.
Click here for workshop registration, dates and locations.
For additional information, visit
www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Consumers or call the Consumer Services Helpline at
Make Sure Your Mobile Home is Ready
homes are most vulnerable to the risk of natural disaster, especially those
involving high winds. By securing your home from the bottom up, you may increase
your chances of protecting it from damage. It is important to ask your insurance
agent about what coverage you may need and what coverage is available to protect
your property so you are not underinsured or not insured at all.
Hurricane damage and destruction can be intensified by various structural
problems, but here are a few tips to consider:
- Make sure your home is well connected to the ground. All manufactured and
mobile homes are required by Florida law to have tie-downs.
- Install sliding storm accordion shutters on all windows.
- Strengthen attachments such as carports, awnings, sheds and other connecting
- Remove any weak or damaged trees or limbs near or over the home.
For more information, on disaster preparation and creating a plan, visit
National Cyber Security Awareness Month
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and you are being urged
to stop, think and connect. This awareness campaign was started in 2001 by the
National Cyber Security Division of the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security. Its focus is to help citizens secure personally identifiable
information that is stored on personal computers or on Web sites such as social
media sites, gaming sites, and other online entities.
This year’s theme strives to educate citizens to secure personal information
such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers or
any other information that is usually deemed confidential. Shredding paper
documents is essential to keep this information confidential, but with more
people moving towards paperless bill notifications each day, it is important to
protect this information online.
Never email your social security number, your passwords or credit card
numbers. Select a complex password for each account as well as your smart phone.
Monitor your financial accounts often and alert the company or bank if you
notice suspicious activity.
Your financial history determines your financial future. By practicing these
financial safety rules, you can take steps to safeguard your financial identity