The Fire Service Awards are coordinated through the State Fire Marshal's Office annually and are sponsored by the following fire-service related organizations: the Florida Joint Council of Fire & Emergency Services, the Fire Training Director's Association, the Florida State Firefighters Association, the Fire Chiefs' Association, the Fire Marshal and Inspectors Association, the Professional Firefighters Association and the Emergency Preparedness Association.
Each honoree receives an individual resolution signed by the Governor and members of the Cabinet at Monday evening's Fire Service Awards ceremony. The honorees are also recognized jointly at the Cabinet meeting at the Capitol.
"These men and women are true leaders, role models and heroes who put their lives at risk every time they respond to a fire call," CFO Atwater said. "I am proud to recognize the outstanding and courageous work that is done by our fire-service professionals every single day to protect their fellow Floridians."
VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR – DOUGLAS J. TEN HOOPEN
• Douglas J. Ten Hoopen’s passion for the fire service began in his home town of Long Island, New York as a member of the West Islip Volunteer Fire Department and is a lifetime member of the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Rescue Ambulance Corps, remaining until his acceptance to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. As a midshipman at the Naval Academy, Douglas was an active member of the West Annapolis, Maryland Volunteer Fire Department from 1984 to 1987, up to his Commission as an Ensign in the United States Navy. After transferring to Pensacola, Florida, Douglas actively served with the Ferry Pass Volunteer Fire Department in Escambia County from 1987 to 1989 where he was awarded the 1988 Firefighter of the Year.
• Douglas actively served with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department from 1993 to 1995 and again from 2007 to 2009. From 1997 through 2000, Douglas continued his dedication to the volunteer fire service and his community with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department. After transferring to Memphis, Tennessee, Douglas actively served with the Emergency Services Division of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office from 2000 to 2002; and while assigned to the United States War College in Jamestown, Rhode Island, Douglas Ten Hoopen was an active member of the Jamestown Ambulance Company from 2002 to 2004. After returning to Jacksonville in 2004, Douglas continued to serve as a volunteer firefighter with Jacksonville Fire and Rescue from 2004 to 2007, and later reassigned to the Pentagon in Washington, DC. After returning to Jacksonville in 2009, Douglas continued to serve his country and community as a volunteer firefighter with Jacksonville Fire and Rescue from 2009 to 2012 while serving as a commissioned officer in the United States Navy as Commodore of Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, United States Atlantic Fleet (COMHSMWINGLANT).
• Captain Douglas Ten Hoopen currently serves at the Defense Intelligence Agency as the United States Defense Attaché Designate to Spain while actively serving his community again with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.
• Throughout Douglas’ remarkable career, he has been a driving force during his term as President of the Jacksonville Volunteer Firefighters Association and has been responsible for the increase in volunteer membership, authoring the Association’s bylaws, and providing new and relevant training opportunities.
• Douglas was nominated by the Florida State Firefighters' Association.
FIRE INSTRUCTOR OF THE YEAR – THOMAS (TOM) J. SOUSA
• Thomas (Tom) J. Sousa has been an outstanding member of the fire service in Manatee County, Florida for more than 35 years and was recently named Fire Officer of the Year by the Manatee County Fire Chiefs Association.
• Tom began his career as a Firefighter/Paramedic with the Longboat Key Fire Rescue, proudly serving from 1976 through 1979 and was promoted to Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic in 1979, operating as Emergency Management Service (EMS) Coordinator and Medical Director Liaison.
• Tom was promoted to Fire Captain in 1994, coordinating all fire and EMS training, and establishing the technical rescue team and serving from 2000 through 2006, Tom performed as Deputy Chief, overseeing all fire department administration, fire training programs and worked as EMS program Manager/Quality Assurance Manager
• Today, Tom serves as Fire Captain with the West Manatee Fire Rescue, serving as Fire Training Program Manager, Department Safety Officer and the Public Information Officer.
• Throughout his outstanding career, Tom developed a very effective training simulator using shipping containers, conducted multi-company drills, and developed web-based online training program, enabling all districts to have access to training from any fire station or location including Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)/Paramedic re-certification, fire in-service, company officer, and reserve firefighter training.
• Throughout his career as a fire instructor, Tom Sousa has received recognition for the significant and valuable contributions he has made to the fire service.
• Tom was nominated by the Florida Fire Chiefs Association.
FIRE TRAINING CENTER OF THE YEAR – LAKE TECH FIRE ACADEMY
• Fire service technology programs consist of the basics of fire fighting: equipment, organization, fire-service occupational safety and health, fire investigation, fire code and fire detection.
• The Lake Tech Fire Academy in Tavares, Florida has continuously provided vital training to Florida’s fire and rescue service personnel since 1982.
• Students who are enrolled in the fire science technology program at Lake Tech Fire Academy consistently demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to have a safe, vital and rewarding career in the fire service.
• Lake Tech Fire Academy has provided multiple classes to Florida’s Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Task Forces Four and two Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) classes through Homeland Security, Minimum Standards Classes, and offers remedial training for all graduates and conducts employment testing.
• Lake Tech Center’s Institute of Public Safety’s Fire Academy, in partnership with Lake County and the City of Tavares will be hosting the fourth annual Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge, also known as the “toughest two minutes in sports” event including a five-story tower climb with high-rise pack, hose hoist, forcible entry, hose advance and victim rescue, promoting physical fitness of firefighters.
• Lake Tech Fire Academy was nominated by the Florida Fire Training Directors Association.
CHAD REED FIRE EMERGENCY MANAGER OF THE YEAR – RODNEY ANDREASEN
• In 2001, Rodney Andreasen was appointed as the Jackson County Emergency Manager.
• September 15, 2004 Hurricane Ivan spawned three tornadoes, touching down in Franklin, Liberty, Calhoun, and Jackson Counties, resulting in four deaths. Due to Rodney’s quick action, numerous housing subdivisions were evacuated and further tragedy was prevented.
• In 2009, Rodney obtained his Florida Professional Emergency Manager (FPEM) recognition from the International Association of Emergency Managers.
• Rodney spearheaded a project resulting in the construction of a new Emergency Operations Center and his efforts have assured that the Local Amateur Radio Emergency Services will have a new state of the art communications equipment supporting the Emergency Operations Center
• Through his tireless efforts, and in conjunction with members of the National Weather Service in Tallahassee, grant funding was awarded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the placement of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather transmitter system serving four counties in Florida and two counties in Georgia.
• Rodney has specialized training in Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Programs, Occupational Instructor Certification, Incident Command System, Incident Response to Terrorist Bombing, Train the Trainer, Prevention of Suicide Bombing Incidents, Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) Professional Development Series, Weapons of Mass Destruction Technical Emergency Response Training, and many others.
• Rodney holds many certifications, including the Florida Professional Emergency Manager from the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association, Certified Emergency Manager from the International Association of Emergency Managers, the Emergency Management Master Instructor Program from the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
• Throughout his remarkable career, Rodney has displayed exceptional leadership abilities and a commitment to serving all Floridians.
• Rodney was nominated by the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association.
FORESTRY FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR – ROY CRIBB
• On April 4, 2012, the Lake County Fire Rescue was dispatched to a wildfire in the Lake Mack area on the east side of Lake County, Florida. Senior Forest Ranger (SFR) Roy Cribb was already actively mopping up a nearby wildfire and was dispatched to structures that were in danger. While assessing the threat to the structures, SFR Roy Cribb discovered a homeowner trapped and unable to evacuate, due to a head fire moving at a rapid rate toward the victims home.
• Roy notified Lake County Fire Rescue for needed assistance and assisted the homeowner into his engine, driving him to safety
• At a different location for the same fire, two Lake County firefighters became trapped and were actively seeking a location to deploy their fire shelter. Roy and another unit battled their way into the fire locating the trapped men, loaded them into his engine and delivered them safely out of the inferno
• Due to the selfless and valiant efforts of the other firefighters on site and Senior Forest Ranger Roy Cribb, a terrible tragedy was averted.
• Roy was nominated by the Division of Forestry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
FIRE INSPECTOR OF THE YEAR – ROBERT (BOB) SALVAGGIO
• Robert (Bob) Salvaggio began his career in the fire service as a Volunteer Firefighter in 1984 with the Big Corkscrew Island Fire Department. Bob worked his way through the ranks beginning as a Firefighter and Volunteer Fire Marshal, Fire Protection Plan Review Specialist, Customer Service Supervisor/Assistant to Building Official, to his current position as Assistant Fire Code Official for Collier County, Florida.
• Bob has many professional certifications and licensures including State of Florida Fire Inspector I and II, State of Florida Firefighter, International Code Council (ICC) Building Code Official, Graduate of the National Fire Academy, member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Certified Fire Plan Examiners and the NFPA Certified Fire Protection Specialist.
• Bob is also an active member of the Collier County Fire Marshals Association, International Association of Arson Investigators, Fire Marshals Association of North America, Florida Association of Fire and Life Safety Systems Section of NFPA and the ICC.
• Each year, Bob participates in the Brotherhood Never Forget Ride, a five-hundred-and-fifty-mile cycling trip memorializing the four-hundred-and-eleven police, port authority officers, fire and emergency medical personnel who lost their lives on that fateful day in September 2001.
• Through his dedication and tireless efforts maintaining fire safety standards, Bob and other members of the fire service continue to build a strong sturdy ladder while serving everyday Floridians.
• Bob was nominated by the Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association.
FIRE INVESTIGATOR OF THE YEAR – DOUG KELLER
• Doug Keller joined the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Fire Investigators Bureau in late 2000. Due to his diligence in going the extra mile, Doug Keller served as lead investigator on several fires, leading to high-profile arrests, including an indictment of over twenty individuals involved in a contents fraud ring.
• Doug possesses several professional credentials, including Fire Investigator with the International Association of Arson Investigators, Fire and Explosion Investigator with the National Association of Fire Investigators, Fire Investigator Instructor, National Association of Fire Investigators, Firefighter II, Fire Safety Inspector, Fire Instructor, Live Fire Training Instructor and Emergency Medical Technician
• Doug also holds several degrees including an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Administration, and an Associate of Science Degree in Fire Science Technology, both from Miami-Dade College, a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California Los Angeles and a Master of Arts in English from Florida International University
• Doug serves as Secretary of the Dade County Firemen’s Benevolent Association and manages the Association’s most popular events for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue firefighters and their families.
• Doug has a diverse knowledge of the fire service whether investigating the origin of a blaze, or stopping to lend assistance to the Miami-Dade Fire Rescues Venom Unit and throughout his remarkable career, Doug has demonstrated exceptional skills in investigation and is committed to the fire service and his fellow Floridians.
• Doug was nominated by the Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association.
FIRE MARSHAL OF THE YEAR – DAVID WOODSIDE
• David Woodside began his career as a Firefighter/Paramedic in 1984, and has served as Adjunct Faculty member at Palm Beach Community College and an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) instructor at South Tech Education Center in Boynton Beach.
• David was dispatched to the Island of Haiti after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck on January 12, 2010, delivering much needed supplies and support to the victims as part of the humanitarian mission. While there, David recognized that the Department’s existing occupancy fire prevention programs posed an unreasonable hazard to the emergency responders and the community. David and his division conducted needed inspections, thereby creating a safer atmosphere.
• More recently, several building owners were identified who were hesitant to spend funds to bring vacant buildings code compliant, and after six months of effort by David, the buildings were demolished and therefore no longer pose a threat to the health and safety of firefighters.
• David is an active member of several professional memberships and affiliations including serving as President of the Palm Beach County Fire Marshal’s Association and holds several licensing credentials including, certification as a Firefighter, the American Heart Association Basic Life Support Instructor, Paramedic, Firesafety Inspector, Fire Instructor III, and Hazardous Material Technician.
• David’s character and actions exemplify his commitment to his community and fire district, and are reflective of the mission and purposes of the Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association.
• David was nominated by the Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association.
PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR – DUSTIN SEABOLT
• In 2002, Dustin Seabolt began his career with the Palm Harbor Fire Rescue as a Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician, later earning his Paramedic certification.
• On June 24, 2012, Tropical Storm Debby whipped Palm Harbor, Florida with bands of drenching rains causing many roadways to become flooded. Dustin and his unit were dispatched to a call involving a teen clinging precariously to a tree surrounded by treacherous and fast moving water; and donning the safety line, without regard for his personal safety, Dustin jumped into the churning water, swam to the young man and held him, preventing the teen from being pulled into a drainage ditch.
• On August 7, 2012, six minutes after the 911 call, Engine 65 and Dustin Seabolt were dispatched to a fire where the caller identified that there was a woman trapped inside her burning townhome; and Dustin, assigned to the fire attack team, along with the other crew members quickly swept through the first floor kitchen area and discovered the woman unconscious on the floor; and calling for aid. Dustin and the other crew members rushed the woman outside to awaiting firefighters who began providing emergency critical care. These two incidents demonstrate Dustin Seabolt’s dedication to his department, Palm Harbor Fire Rescue and the citizens of Florida.
• Dustin was nominated by the Florida Professional Firefighters Association.
FIRE CHIEF OF THE YEAR – CYNTHIA (CINDY) E. DICK
• Cynthia (Cindy) E. Dick began her career in 1987 as a Firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician with the Tallahassee Fire Department. Working her way through the ranks, Cindy was promoted to Fire Lieutenant in 1992, Fire Battalion Captain in 1997, Acting Division Chief, Training / Special Services in 2004, to her current rank of Chief in October, 2005
• As Chief with the Tallahassee Fire Department, Cindy Dick directs the day-to-day activities of nearly 300 employees, serving 670 square miles of Leon County, Florida, while administering a 33million dollar annual budget and serves as Incident Commander and Program Director of the City of Tallahassee’s Emergency Management Team.
• Cindy has achieved numerous awards and honors in several professional organizations including the 2009 Leadership Tallahassee Pacesetter Leadership Award, the Florida Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award, the 2010 South Florida Diversity Council’s Glass Ceiling Award, an Honoree for the Tallahassee Community College Hall of Fame, and the City of Tallahassee Humanitarian Award for response to Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
• Cindy holds numerous personal and professional certificates including the National Fire Academy, the Florida State Fire College, local and state fire training institutions, is an active member of the Florida Fire Chiefs Association, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the Women in Fire and Emergency Services, serves as Chair of the North Florida Regional Domestic Security Task Force and is Regional Representative of the Florida Domestic Security Resource Committee.
• Perseverance and determination are the cornerstone of Cindy Dick’s success and steadfast commitment to the fire service.
• Cindy was nominated by the Florida Fire Chiefs' Association.
CAREER FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR – JIM HAMOR
• James (Jim) Hamor began his career with the Palm Bay Fire Rescue in February, 1988, rising through the ranks from Driver Engineer to his current position as Lieutenant.
• On July 22, 2012, at approximately 7:30 a.m., Jim Hamor was off-duty and driving home from his shift when he noticed an SUV driving erratically towards Babcock Street and Port Malabar Boulevard, one of the busiest pedestrian and automobile traveled intersections in the City of Palm Bay, Florida. Jim attempted to alert the driver but the car continued to travel, jumping a traffic divider into oncoming traffic. Without regard for his own safety, Jim positioned his vehicle in front of the SUV to slow and stop the vehicle, averting many major car crashes. Once the SUV came to a safe stop, Jim discovered that the driver was unconscious, slumped over the wheel and not responding. Jim went into action, securing the scene, calling 911 and began life saving, Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation. Through the selfless and decisive actions of Jim Hamor, many lives were saved.
• Jim was nominated by the Florida State Firefighters' Association.
Volunteerism embodies the true spirit of America and is exemplified by Florida’s firefighters and paramedics. Florida’s firefighters and paramedics have pledged their lives to saving the lives of others, and for 58 years have supported the life-saving work of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
The Muscular Dystrophy Association combats 43 neuromuscular diseases, including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) that affect thousands of Florida’s children and families. In 2012, through their signature Fill the Boot program, Florida firefighters and paramedics collected a record breaking $1,030,599 again making them MDA’s largest source of funding. This substantial support significantly helps sustain MDA’s medical services at nine hospital-affiliated clinics, four Summer Camp programs, and multi-million dollar research grants at the University of Miami and the University of Florida; and
It is appropriate for all Floridians to join the Muscular Dystrophy Association in this tribute to our heroes. The Governor and Cabinet of the State of Florida have proclaimed March 17 through March 23, 2013 as Florida Firefighter Appreciation Week.