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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT… Daytona Beach News Journal: “Flagler firefighter to be honored as part of new state memorial”

3/16/2015

Contact: Ashley Carr
(850) 413- 2842
 
Daytona Beach News Journal – Daytona Beach, Fla.
“Flagler firefighter to be honored as part of new state memorial”
March 16, 2015
Click HERE for the full article
 
John Keppler’s last memory of his father was drinking a Guiness with him on St. Patrick’s Day at the Golden Lion Cafe in Flagler Beach in 2002. Four days later, his father, John Keppler, a volunteer firefighter for Flagler County, died in the line of duty at age 54.
 
Thirteen years later on this St. Patrick’s Day, John will speak in a tribute to his father and the sacrifice of all firefighters during a ribbon-cutting for the Fallen Firefighter Monument on the grounds of the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee.
 
His father’s name is among the 181 names engraved in the monument, according to the office of Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater.
 
 
“My father was my hero,” said John Keppler III. “He was absolutely selfless. “He preached that to us. If there’s somebody with a flat tire by the side of the road, you stop,” he added. “If there’s an injured animal, you nurse it back to health. It doesn’t matter what it is, do the right thing.”


On March 21, 2002, he was responding to a call regarding an attempted suicide when he started feeling chest pains, his son said. He went home and had his wife take him to the hospital. He died outside the doors of the emergency room from a heart attack.

 
His father’s death influenced state lawmakers to pass the “heart and lung bill” so that if any firefighter dies from a cause that is heart or lung related within 24 hours of their firefighter shift, their death is to considered “in the line of duty,” John Keppler III said.
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