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CFO-Elect Sink Taps Veteran Firefighter to Lead State Fire Marshal’s Office

12/6/2006

CONTACT:   Tami Torres or Nina Banister
                  (850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE—Alex Sink, elected to serve as Florida's Chief Financial Officer beginning January 2, 2007, announced today that she has appointed Leslie "Les" Hallman to serve as the new director of the State Fire Marshal's Office.  Hallman, a 25-year veteran in fire and rescue services, law enforcement and emergency management, will assume his new duties next month.
 
"Les Hallman will be an outstanding addition to our team," said Sink, who as CFO will also hold the title of State Fire Marshal.  "He has the knowledge and experience and shares my commitment to protecting Floridians, promoting fire safety and aggressively investigating arson."
 
As director of the Division of State Fire Marshal, Hallman will oversee four bureaus: the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations, a sworn law enforcement agency; the Bureau of Fire Prevention, the Bureau of Fire Standards and Training, and the Bureau of Forensic Fire and Explosives Analysis (the Arson Laboratory). 
 
For the last 12 years, Hallman has served as Fire Chief for the South Walton Fire District, overseeing five fire stations with 120 personnel and a $16 million budget.  During his tenure, he incorporated a fire-based EMS in Walton County and helped obtain the first medical/rescue helicopter for the area. 
 
In 2001, he was awarded the State Award for Administrative Excellence in EMS from the Florida Association of EMS.  He is on the board of directors of the Florida Fire Chiefs Association and serves as vice chairman of the Florida Firefighters Employment Standards and Training Council.
 
From 1995 to 1996, he was fire chief of the Tavares Fire/Rescue Department, and from 1993 to 1995 he was a member of the management staff at the City of Orlando Fire Department, assisting in the development of the nation's first Citizens Fire Academy, a hands-on community outreach program.   He formerly served as a relief engineer/firefighter EMT with Orange County Fire Rescue Division, relief officer/Firefighter EMT with the South Okaloosa Fire Rescue Districts and as fire chief of the Thomas Drive Volunteer Fire Department in Panama City Beach.
 
Hallman will be replacing Rand Napoli, who is retiring after more than 30 years in fire services.
 
"Florida has one of the most advanced response systems in the country, and I am pleased that CFO-elect Sink has chosen someone with a strong record of involvement in and commitment to fire and emergency services in our communities," Gallagher said.