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Ho, Ho, Ho for HabitatHo, Ho, Ho for Habitat
Story and photos by Jack Norris. Posted on December 29th , 2008

On Saturday 12/20/08 members of Palm Beach County Fire Rescue and Palm Beach County Planning, Zoning and Building spread a little Yuletide cheer while volunteering at a Habitat for Humanity project in Jupiter.

They joined forces to eradicate substandard housing in Palm Beach County by helping to build decent, affordable housing for deserving families. While on the work site at the Kennedy Estates subdivision they lifted and set the roof trusses into place and installed fascia. The next phase of the project will be to install the sheeting on the trusses. After that tar paper and shingles will complete the roof of the 3 bedroom two bath home.

Volunteering at a Habitat site is easy. Just listen to what Division Chief St. Pierre had to say, "Working for habitat makes it easy because all the hard stuff is taken care of.  I show up and all of the building materials are at the site and there is someone there letting us know what they want done."

Habitat has built more than 300,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1.5 million people in more than 3,000 communities with safe, decent, affordable shelter. HFHI was founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller along with his wife, Linda. The project in the Kennedy Estates subdivision which consists of 27 home sites is only one project that the local affiliate is working on. Other projects include: 2 homes in Green Acres, 2 homes in the town of Pahokee and a Kennedy Estates phase 2 project in Jupiter.

When asked why he participates in Habitat’s volunteer program Deputy Chief Randy Sheppard of Palm Beach County Fire Rescue had this to say, "The greatest single satisfaction of volunteering for Habitat is knowing that not only are you helping someone who needs help, but you are helping to build a community that will hopefully be there long after I pass from this world!"

There are many ways to support Habitat for Humanity and no construction experience is necessary. To find out more information call the local affiliate at 561 433-3351.

Christmas at St. Mary's Children's HospitalChristmas at St. Mary's Children's Hospital
Story and photos by Capt. Don Delucia, PIO. Posted on December 23rd , 2008

The Palm Beach County FOOLS and friends made their 5th annual trip to St Mary's Children's Hospital today, December 23, with a delivery of toys and THE Santa Claus. Santa and his entourage of elves and helpers delivered toys to all of the children who are currently patients, some of who may not make it home for Christmas.

There were enough toys for the children's section of the hospital and for the pediatric emergency room.

We all enjoyed the smiling faces, the laughter and the parent's appreciation for us being there.

Overturned Dump Truck in South BayOverturned Dump Truck in South Bay
Story and photos by EMS Captain Cameron Bucek. Posted on December 23rd , 2008

On Monday December 22, 2008, units from station 74 along with DC-7 and EMS-7 were dispatched to an MVC possible overturned truck on SR-27 Southbound, 5 miles north of the county line. After a 20+ minute response, crews arrived to find a dumptruck on its side. The cargo of sand and gravel was spilled about the scene, and approximately 20 gallons of diesel fuel was spilled onto the ground. Crews switched the changeover valve to prevent any more fuel from leaking.

The dumptruck driver escaped the crash with minor injuries, he related "seat belts really do save lives"; a lesson for everyone.

Single Family Residence Fire in the GladesSingle Family Residence Fire in the Glades
Story and photos by EMS Captain Cameron Bucek. Posted on December 22nd , 2008

Battalion 7 units responded to 1600 NW Avenue F Place in Belle Glade. E-73, E-73B, R-73, R-73B, DC-7, and EMS-7 arrived to a single family wood frame residence with heavy smoke from the eves. E-73 deployed an 1 3/4" handline and implemented a fast fire attack and knocked the main body of fire down. R-73 performed a primary search and DC-7 assumed Command. Crews assembled outside as a RIT, and R-73B set a ladder to side "D" to remove the attic vent during overhaul.

The fire was caused by careless cooking by the resident, and no injuries were reported. The family was turned over to the RED CROSS for assistance.

DBI Presented with Fire Rescue Plaques of AppreciationDBI Presented with Fire Rescue Plaques of Appreciation
Story and photos by District Chief Curtis Rice. Posted on December 19th , 2008

On November 19th, members of Palm Beach County Fire Rescue’s, Station 73 (Belle Glade) showed their appreciation to the staff of DBI by presenting them with 2 plaques. Michael Hottinger, the Project Manager received one and the other for the staff.

DBI has allowed Fire Rescue to use the damaged guardrails and support components from the area's state roads for cutting practice. This type of practice is not only invaluable to our members but very hard to come by. In addition to practice for our members, DBI allowed the equipment committee to use these damaged parts to evaluate diamond tipped saw blades to be used on our saws during emergency operations.

DBI has a contract with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and is responsible for maintaining the State Roads within Florida.

E73, E73B and EMS7 participated in the presentation.

All-In for Butch Smith Fundraising EventAll-In for Butch Smith Fundraising Event
Posted on December 17th , 2008

On December 9th, Lieutenant Garland "Butch" Smith received a fund-raising check at Slainte Irish Pub in Boynton Beach, Florida from the organizers of the All In Event and members of the Firefighters Benevolent. The event, attended and well supported by the Firefighter's Benevolent, firefighters from PBCFR and many municipalities, members of the public and businesses raised $35,200 for Butch. It was a huge success thanks to ALL involved. These funds were desperately needed for mounting medical expenses associated with Butch's treatment for a rare and advanced form of cancer called Multiple Myeloma. Butch expressed his appreciation for not only this financial support but the huge emotional support that this event generated. He said he and his family cannot stop talking about what a great event it was and how many people came out in support. He is humbled and has said numerous times, he's at a loss for words because his gratitude is so deep.

Butch's medical condition has improved due to the cutting edge treatment and procedures he has received over the last 6 months. He is in partial remission now and hopeful to enter full remission with continued treatment. He will be traveling to Miami over the month of December for these continued treatment and of course 2009 will bring even more.

The All In Event organizers, Firefighter's Benevolent and Slainte are already focused on next years event. Mark your calendars for November 7th, Saturday, 2009. The All-In Event 2009 will raise funds, at least in part, for the Firefighter's Benevolent Fund. Please plan on attending this event. Future notifications are planned.

Toys for Tots - Stuff the Truck ProjectToys for Tots - Stuff the Truck Project
Posted on December 17th , 2008

Fire Rescue and the Marine Corps ran a one day promotion with the Toys-R-Us corporation and set up special detail rescue units at their four stores in Palm Beach County on Sunday, December 14th. Numerous toys were collected with their "Stuff the Truck" campaign and it definitely added extra merchandise for distribution to needy kids.

FOOLS Deliver Santa to WalMart in Royal Palm BeachFOOLS Deliver Santa to WalMart in Royal Palm Beach
Posted on December 15th , 2008

Saturday, December 6th, 2008, was a fun day for a handful of Fire Rescue employees and members of the Palm Beach County FOOLS. The FOOLS' antique engine delivered Santa to the Royal Palm Beach Wal Mart where he greeted children and their families as they did their holiday shopping at the store. Santa had fun with the kids as well as adults as can be seen in the pictures.

Digital photos were taken on the spot and printed the same morning by Wal Mart. Any donations that were given will be used to purchase toys for our trip to the St. Mary's Children’s Hospital on the 23rd.

Station 34 Wishes Everyone a Happy Holidays
Posted on December 3rd , 2008
Happy Holidays from Station 34

Happy Holidays from the crews at Station 34.

Achilles Team Competes in the Marathon of the Palm BeachesAchilles Team Competes in the Marathon of the Palm Beaches
Story and photos by Charlotte Rebillard. Posted on December 9th , 2008

The wounded veterans of Achilles Freedom team were here to run in the Marathon of the Palm Beaches on 12/7/08. This was Palm Beach County Fire Rescue’s third year in assisting the team with their weekend in town (from 12/4-7/08).

Fire Rescue personnel and their families came by Station 23 to help assemble some of the bikes being used in the marathon and befriended many of team members and their families. Afterwards, a pasta dinner was available for everyone in attendance and the food was enjoyed by all!

The Achilles Freedom Team is an organization that promotes physical activity and sports to all veterans with disabilities. The team is comprised of members from all branches of service and service dates as far back as Vietnam up to and including the present. A couple team members this year were citizens that had never served but have disabilities that qualify them to be part of the Achilles Freedom Team.

Potentially Deadly Mobile Home FirePotentially Deadly Mobile Home Fire
Story by Captain Don Delucia, PIO; photos by Investigator Pam Summers.. Posted on December 9th , 2008

These are some photos taken by IV-5 (Pam Summers). This mobile home fire appeared to be small and not anything unusual. It turned out to be quite a scene that could easily have been a disaster for numerous firefighters who were at the 4 am fire. The entire mobile home site at 5793 Tiffany Pl, WPB, was barricaded with locks, chains, cables, metal bars and two by fours. It took over four minutes alone to get through the gate to get into the property. No one knew the single-wide mobile home was a potential bomb. The owner, who was found inside the bedroom, had committed suicide after setting fire at one end of the mobile home. He poured somewhere between 20 and 30 gallons of gasoline throughout the trailer and had the equivalent of five propane tanks turned on, inside and outside by the stairs.

At one point, over a dozen firefighters had been in or near the structure trying to get in to locate a possible victim. Luck was with all of them due to the fact that the atmosphere inside was so rich, it couldn't conduct combustion for very long let alone explode. This was one for the memory books of PBCFR. Media coverage made a point of showing how dangerous our jobs can be.

Units on scene included E23, Q29, E24, E34, R24, EMS10, DC10, BC9.

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