State Fire Marshal Sink Urges Floridians to Remember Fallen Florida Firefighters during Fire Prevention Week
Nina Banister 850-413-2842
Janie Gunnell 352-369-2821
OCALA—During Fire Prevention Week, which began Sunday and continues through Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008, Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Alex Sink is urging Floridians to practice fire safety and to remember Florida’s fallen firefighters. One hundred forty-two Florida firefighters have lost their lives in the line of duty.
As part of the week’s activities, which include numerous fire safety education programs, Florida will add the names of four firefighters who lost their lives last year, and one who lost his life in 1983, to the state’s Fallen Firefighter Memorial. The Memorial program, hosted by the Division of State Fire Marshal and the Florida Joint Council of Fire and Emergency Service Organizations, will be held Friday, October 10, 2008, at 11:00 a.m. at the Florida State Fire College in Ocala.
“On Friday, we will honor four courageous men who gave their lives to protect others, and there is no greater sacrifice than that,” said CFO Sink. “During Fire Prevention Week, Floridians should pause and take a moment to recognize all the brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect our families and loved ones.”
For a schedule of Fire Prevention Week education programs, visit http://www.myfloridacfo.com/sfm/Notices/FirePreventionWeek_2008.pdf.
During the Fallen Firefighter Memorial program, the following names will be added to the memorial: Jeremy Adams, who died January 16, 2007; John Curry, who died November 27, 2007; Michael Douthitt, who died July 13, 2007; Paul Reynolds, Sr., who died February 27, 2007; and Donald Lund, who died December 9, 1983.
The death of Chief Adams, of the Springfield Fire Department, was attributed to complications from an injury he sustained while responding to a structure fire. Firefighter Curry, of the Volusia County Wildland Fire Team, died during a training accident. Driver/Engineer Douthitt, of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Department of Fire/Rescue; Firefighter Reynolds, of Estero Fire Rescue; and Driver Operator Lund, of Clearwater Fire Rescue, all died of various ailments following very busy shifts.
The memorial service is open to the public and will feature a presentation to each family by Les Hallman, Director of the Division of State Fire Marshal. The fallen firefighters will be honored by a Statewide Honor Guard comprising more than 25 teams from around the state, and a united Fallen Firefighter Memorial Pipe and Drum Corp, also made up of units from throughout Florida, will play.
“The Florida Fallen Firefighter Memorial, which was dedicated in January of 1992, is considered hallowed ground to the firefighters of this state,” said Dave Casey, Chief of the Bureau of Fire Standards and Training, which oversees the fire college. “The bronze statue of a firefighter at rest represents each and every one of our state’s dedicated firefighters.”
For further information, please contact Chief Dave Casey at (352) 369-2800.
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.