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**PHOTO RELEASE** CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Honors Florida's Outstanding Firefighters


press photo

For Immediate Release: Monday, April 1, 2019
Katie Strickland, 850.413.2842,
Devin Galetta, 850.413.2842, 

CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis Honors Florida's Outstanding Firefighters

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis along with Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried recognized members of Florida’s firefighting community for their outstanding accomplishments in the fire service industry during the 2019 Fire Service Awards today at the Florida Capitol. Each individual or facility was nominated and selected by various fire service organizations across Florida.
CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “I was proud to honor the outstanding members of Florida’s brave firefighting community who work so tirelessly to protect us. Our first responders are the lifeblood of our communities and these brave men and women exemplify the hard work, courage, dedication and integrity necessary to ensure the health and safety of all of Floridians. I cannot thank these firefighters enough for their outstanding service to their communities and our great state.”

2018-19 Florida Fire Service Award Recipients

• Florida Fire Chief of the Year – Julie Downey of Davie Fire Rescue
• Florida Career Firefighter of the Year – Jason Wheat of the Orange County Fire Rescue Department (Pictured above, center)
• Florida Forestry Firefighter of the Year – Richard Smith of the Florida Forest Service in Tallahassee (Pictured above, left)
• Florida Fire Marshal of the Year – Wendy Niles of Lake Mary Fire Department
• Florida Fire Inspector of the Year – Tommy Demopoulos of the City of Tamarac Fire Department
• Florida Professional Firefighter of the Year – Rick Spence of the Reedy Creek Fire Department
• Florida Fire Service Instructor of the Year – Michael Swartz of the Florida State Fire College in Ocala
• Florida Fire Investigator of the Year – Shane Gaghan of the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations in Ft. Myers
• Chad Reed Emergency Preparedness Manager – Joby Smith of Bay County Emergency Services
• Volunteer Firefighter of the Year – Francisco Olivero Jr. of West Sebring Volunteer Fire Department      
• Fire and Life Safety Public Educator of the Year – Yvonne Feijoo of the Hallandale Beach Fire Rescue
• Florida Training Center of the Year – North Collier Fire Training Center

About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).