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State Fire Marshal Sink Honors Florida Firefighters during Firefighter Appreciation Week


CONTACT: Kyra Jennings or Kevin Cate
                 (850) 413-2842
TALLAHASSEE—Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Alex Sink honored Florida firefighters in a ceremony and at the Florida Cabinet today, recognizing April 13-18, 2009 as Florida Firefighter Appreciation Week. 
Earlier today, CFO Sink remembered Florida’s fallen firefighters at a ceremonial ‘last call’ bell-ringing in Florida’s Capitol.  CFO Sink was joined by State Senator Charlie Justice and State Representative Bill Heller, sponsors of legislation creating the Florida Firefighter Memorial Flag.
“We all know it takes a special person to fill the boots of a firefighter,” said CFO Sink. “All of our firefighters go above and beyond the call of duty, risking their lives to protect Floridians. I encourage all Floridians to take a moment this week to thank our firefighters for their service.”
During Florida Firefighter Appreciation Week, Florida’s firefighters and paramedics are recognized for efforts to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  Last year, Florida’s firefighters raised nearly $2.2 million for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) during their annual “Fill the Boot” campaign, ranking second in the nation and making them MDA’s largest single source of giving in Florida.
Yesterday, Florida’s finest firefighters were honored with Fire Service Awards.  Fire Service Awards are coordinated through CFO Sink’s State Fire Marshal Office annually and are sponsored by one or more of 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.
CFO Sink recognized the following individuals and one training center with a Fire Service Award at the Cabinet meeting today:
Volunteer Firefighter of the Year—Scott Malone Punta Gorda Fire Department
Fire Marshal of the Year— Foster Gover, Southern Manatee Fire District
Florida Fire Investigator of the Year— Kurt Lathrop, West Manatee Fire & Rescue
Florida Fire Inspector of the Year—Maurice Majszak, City of Miami Fire-Rescue Department
Florida Fire Chief of the Year— Thomas Weber, Port Orange Fire & Rescue
Florida Fire Instructor of the Year— Wane Watts, South Walton Fire District
Florida Fire Investigator of the Year (Department) – Mark Sauls, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations
Florida Professional Firefighter of the Year— Shayne Stewart, Okaloosa Island Firefighter’s Association and Florida Professional Firefighters
Florida Forestry Firefighter of the Year— Chris Worrell, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Training Center of the Year— Tampa Fire Training Center