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MileMarker Stories

Thanksgiving Day with Kid's SanctuaryThanksgiving Day with Kid's Sanctuary
Posted on December 14th , 2009

Lt. Delrossi and his wife, who is a Fire Safety Specialist "NICOLE DELROSSI" went above and beyond for the young children of a needy organization here in Batallion Two.  Kid's Sanctuary is a nonprofitable housing system that provides a loving home environment while the children are awaiting selection into the foster care system here in Palm Beach County.  Instead of a Foster Care boarding house, these kids live in a converted duplex type structure here in St28's area.  Lt Delrossi has done many things for this organization throughout the years including several donations to the facility, gifts and toy deliveries every year at Christmas as well as a wonderful playground area that the guys all chipped in and built for the Kid's Sanctuary.  This year, thanks to the partnership with several generous members of BOSS, the team of fire rescue folks purchased, prepared and delivered an amazing Thanksgiving Day feast, along with quality time spent with the firefighters including full truck tours by the crews. Thank you for stepping to the plate to mentor these young children of our community and for making Palm Beach County Fire Rescue very proud!  Frequent Fire Miles are being awarded for going the extra mile!

Guardians of The Corridor ... LiterallyGuardians of The Corridor ... Literally
Posted on September 29th , 2009

The customer service team is pleased to recognize and reward the crew members of Station 31 for living up to their name as "Guardians of the Corridor". Crews from 31 House responded to a call to assist PBSO with an 18-month old female who wandered outside her home unnoticed and was attempting to cross Maleluca Ave when a passerby called 911. Upon arrival the crews were directed to attend to the pediatric which they did while PBSO was taking care of locating the parents or where the child even came from. Meanwhile the crews continued to keep the child in the air conditioned truck. The crews realized that the child would be much more comfortable if they set her up at the station with some age appropriate comfort items. You can only play with a "medical glove smiley face balloon" for so long.

The crews coordinated with PBSO to take the child back to the fire station instead of staging at the intersection. First they stopped and picked up groceries, snacks, a juice box/sippy cup, diapers, baby wipes and a stuffed animal toy from money that the crews contributed out of their own pocket. The crew made the 18mth old something to eat back at the firehouse as well as set up a comfortable bed/sitting area in the day room with blankets and a TV so she could watch the Disney Channel while law enforcement found Mom & Dad. PBSO did locate the parents 90 min later and there was a warm reunion between baby and parents. The family was so impressed at how compassionate the firefighters were with their child and especially how thoughtful they were while living up to their station logo as Guardians of the Corridor!

Thanks to all crew members involved. Not seen in this picture is DO Terrell Patterson despite how instrumental he was in accomplishing this Frequent Fire Mile. Mile Slips go to all involved: Cpt Dave Iman, DO Terrell Paterson, FM Scott Schanke, LT Andrew Lombardo, PM Melissa Jones, PM Chris Gray, Cpt George Springthorpe and DC Billy Schmidt

Station 28 Goes the Extra MileStation 28 Goes the Extra Mile
Posted on May 26th , 2009

Recently crews from station 28 were dispatched to a motor vehicle accident in a residential neighborhood in Royal Palm Beach. Crews arrived to find a Ford F-150 pickup truck lodged inside of a home. In addition, the truck had actually driven in and out of a second home. The driver of the truck had suffered a significant medical emergency which led to the accident. The driver was transported to JFK Emergency Room.

Crews were then faced with two homes with large openings in them, while the two families of seniors trying to figure out what to do next. One family decided to stay in their house while the other planned to stay with their daughter.

The crews from station 28 began to inventory what was available to them. Between what was back at the station, at their near-by private homes, in their personal trucks and from neighbors, the crews were able to set a plan on how to help secure these two homes.

After the building official declared the homes safe, crews removed most of the debris inside the homes, cleaned up the outer surfaces and secured plywood over the openings. Both families were grateful that their homes had been secured and they could begin to recover and repair after a night of unexpected and unwanted excitement.

All crews involved exemplified leadership and teamwork in order going the extra mile for our fire rescue customer here!!! Frequent Fire Miles go to: Cpt. Kevin Shaw, DO Richard Kingston, PM Doug Stewart, Lt Lynne Gralin, PM Lownsdale, FF Chris Combs, Rescue Cpt Ernst Muller, District Chief Neil Enos and Battalin Chief Nigel Baker.

Battalion 7 Drives the Extra Mile
Posted on May 14th , 2009

Battalion 7 has been driving the extra mile, literally, for their customers lately! Several incidents have occured in recent weeks that tend to stand out above the rest. Station 74 units responded to a signal 4 rollover where a family of three (mom, son and daughter) lost control of their vehicle. They were returning from Lake Whales where they were celebrating the daughter's birthday with family. Nobody was injured but the vehicle was totaled and they still had a long way to go before they reached Oakland Park, which is where the family lived. Dad was a contract employee and was stationed in Iraq. The presents were jammed in the trunk and the family members were covered in mulch. The CAT Team was not available so R73 brought the family back to the station so they could clean up and re-group. While their mom got them cleaned up, the crew of R73 made them PB&J sandwiches. E74 forced the trunk open and brought all the birthday presents along with all the other items from the car back to the station. BC Arena cleared the use of the batallion spare car in order for PM Doug Taylor to drive them home to Broward County. WOW!! That's treating our customers like family!

On another occasion, Station 73 units responded to a medical call to a driver of a large RV. After determining that the elderly friend who was the uninvolved passenger could not drive the RV, E73 didn't think twice about securing the vehicle and riding the friend home in the fire engine!

Lastly Chief Rowley and Cpt Ken Sehres came upon a family of five who was involved in a serious signal four rollover while enroute to Miami from Clewiston. They were trying to get their kids into Spring Camp vacation when the incident occured. Thankfully nobody was injured, however, the vehicle was a total loss. They attempted in locating a rental car agency even though the nearest place was over an hour away. Even the Vice Mayor of South Bay got involved and volunteered to drive the family to the east coast so that they could pick up the car and finish their vacation.

As these incidents all happened within the same few days and were all in Battalion 7, we chose to write it up as one story. It is great to see, especially in these troubled times, crews going the extra mile to assist customers and make the difference.

Great job Battalion 7 and District Chief Bill Rowley, Captain Ken Sehres, Captain R. Frank, R. Rodman, D. Taylor, C. Berry, J. Hachet, J. Russell, District Chief Curtis Rice, Battalion Chief M. Arena, Captain R. Christmas, & Driver/Operator F. Iznaga.

The Holiday Extra MileThe Holiday Extra Mile
Posted on January 12th , 2009

On December 15th, 2008, DC-2, E-23,E-24, R-23, R-23B, R-33 and EMS-10 responded to a hostage situation that resulted in the death of a mother of three children. The crews from these stations have run calls like this in the past. The thing that makes this call different, is that it was just days before Christmas. During this call the mother of the victim, and the grandmother to the three children were placed in the back of Rescue 33. She was placed there not because she was a patient, but because it was a safe and secure place from the dangers of the scene. While waiting in the back of Rescue 33, she was accompanied by Lieutenant Lee Forshner before she was notified that her daughter had been shot and killed. The moment that she found out that her daughter was gone, her life changed, and her first concern was the lives of her grandchildren. She looked at Lt. Forshner and said what am I going to tell the children. As if that wasn’t enough, that night while all were at the hospital the family's home was broken into and robbed of all their belongings. Their tv, dvd player, beds, clothes and even the Christmas tree was stolen. When Lt. Forshner found out that this had happened, his heart dropped. He started to make calls and was placed in touch with PBSO Deputy Sean Lutz. Together they made a horrible situation much more manageable for the family. They reached out to there respective departments, and to the community. They were able to purchase clothes, toys, beds, a tv, a dvd player , a camera and much, much more. The outpouring of support cannot be expressed in words. Monetary donations also started to come in for the family because of Lee's efforts and the publicity that it was receiving in the media. They did this in a very short amount of time, and were able to give the items to the family for Christmas. When they arrived to deliver the gifts, someone asked Lt. Forshner why he did what he did. His answer was simple. He stated boldy, " I wanted to remind the family that there are people in the community that care. Really, truly care". For this family, those members were the public servants of Palm Beach County! Thanks Lee for striving the extra mile this holiday season!

Spahls Serve a Cup of Closure for CommunitySpahls Serve a Cup of Closure for Community
Posted on December 8th , 2008

If you recall the media blitz surrounding 5 year old autistic girl, Kaitlin Bacile, who strayed from her home only to be found in a nearby canal in Wellington, it was a sad tale to experience: especially for neighborhood residents.

But when it came to the community pulling together to try and help the family, volunteers showed up by the hundreds while the search for the little girl unfolded. The sudden news of Kaitlynn's death was almost too much to bear. That's when 9 year old Dillan Spahl, son of Firefighter/Paramedic Eric Spahl of R23, decided that he would raise money for the family by serving lemonade at the neighborhood corner.

Eric, his wife and his family of four are not only involved with their community but Dillan is a member of Pack 165 of the local Boy Scouts. Together they caused the community to pull together once more as motorists pulled up for their cup of lemonade and a small piece of closure. Within hours over $3,300 was raised for the family with the help of Cub Scout Pack 165 members.

The generosity of the community can only be matched by the initiative of the Spahls in the way that they provided the means for countless neighborhood folks to channel their emotions and offer closure to a community in mourning.

The Customer Service TEAM continues to recognize our fire rescue members that "go the extra mile" whether they are in uniform or not. That's what makes the fire service so special ... we're never off duty especially when it comes to serving our community!

We would like to offer special thanks to Eric, Dillan and the entire Spahl family for stepping up when people counted on it the most!

MacCloud Makes Mechanics into Magic for Family!MacCloud Makes Mechanics into Magic for Family!
Posted on October 27th , 2008

This October, Rescue Lieutenant Pat MacCloud (no stranger to the Frequent Fire Mile Program) responded with his R36 crew and E31 to a critical pediatric allergic reaction at the local school's nurse's office where an 11-year old girl had already had her EPI pen administered to her.

Upon Mom's arrival to the parking lot, her car broke down - barely making it into a parking place. Like we often say, "our customers need us at our best since we often see them while they're at or having their worst!"

The daughter had dramatically improved, but now the car was broken down and unable to be driven. To make matters worse her only EPI pen was now gone and they had no insurance for a new one, since she had recently lost her job and her coverage.

Prior to transporting the daughter, RLT MacCloud leans out of the truck and says to the engine, "Hey guys ... interested in helping us fix this lady's car while the family is in the ER?". The crew was ALL IN! When Discount Auto Parts learned of the crews good deeds they insisted in giving a manager's discount for the $80 in parts that the crews paid for out of their own pocket.

After clearing the call, purchasing the parts, and installing the water pump and power belt into the 1991 Oldsmobile in less than an hour,....the crews drove the lady's car in new repair back to the ER so that Mom and Daughter could have it for the ride home! Wow!! When we boast what it is to be a part of this incredible movement of Self-Empowerment in pursuit of "doing the right thing" even when it involves "going the extra mile" such as these guys....this is the type of leadership that is getting the job done.

Thanks, R.LT MacCloud, as well as your crew: FM Hector Gonzalez, FF Andy Mercier, Lt Dave Iman, DO Mike Depascale, FM Joe Deltergo. Coincidentally, A/Lt. Bookmeyer was the company officer that day at 36 and he already had to write up an EDF for MacCloud for his behavior. That is what we should be using these forms for anyway,....positive employee development. Frequent Fire Miles are being dispatched to all crews involved!!!!

Quint Climbs to the Top with Hot Shots InitiativeQuint Climbs to the Top with Hot Shots Initiative
Posted on January 30th , 2008

Quint 29 B shift under the direction of Lt. Bill Morris were at a training evolution recently at Okeeheelee Park. Apparently while on break they noticed a familiar "on-looker" off in the distance. It was 4-year old little Nicholas visiting the park with his family. Mom decided to take Nick to the park with his two sisters. Lt. Morris decided to take advantage of the Polaroid cams that were placed on the truck early last year since this opportunity was exactly what the Hot Shots Program was designed for.

As a reminder, The Customer Service Team launched an initiative called The Hot Shots Program where Phase I included the delivery of Polaroid cameras to all the Engines. The intent of the program was to wave little Joey over from the Publix parking lot anticipating that he'd like to see the BRT (Big Red Truck). In doing so, a red plastic fire helmet is donned with a smiling child outside the window of one of our engines so that the Polaroid may capture this moment for the family. The snapshot finds its way to the refrigerator door back home and PBCFR gets the credit for brightening up the week for some would-be shopper in the neighborhood.

So the crew grabbed the camera, which was out of film. No problem, since we're at a training event ... they search another engine on-scene for their camera. Out of film again! This is a common problem we have noticed since most crews don't realize that the warehouse catalog number for the film is actually adhered to the bottom of the camera itself with the label maker. Crews should feel free to order additional film packs for their polaroids via the monthly Janitorial/Station Supply ordering process. In fact, we're going to add the item to the quick sheet that's located on the Intranet Filing Cabinet.

So here's what 29 did: they grabbed a personal digital camera from one of the crewmember's gear bags. After taking a ton of pics with the kids in and outside of the truck, they learned that Nicholas wants to someday become a fireman (so he called it) Lt. Morris and crew let young Nicholas assist in raising and taking down the 77' aerial ladder as well as tuck away the outriggers and foot plates. Mom could not have been more pleased! At the end of it all, they wrote down the family e-mail address so that they could send them the pics when they got back to the station. It is this endless pursuit to improve the quality of one's life if not just for one day that Q29 had displayed through their efforts. In this case, possibly the inspiration of one young boy's dream to someday ride one of these PBCFR rigs. Frequent Fire Miles are being dispatched to the following:
LT Bill Morris
DO Aaron Turner
PM Gary Garrett

The "Fun House" Opens Doors to Stranded Out-of-TownerThe "Fun House" Opens Doors to Stranded Out-of-Towner
Posted on January 24th , 2008

The crews from Station 55, B Shift are all receiving Frequent Fire Miles for the way they handled a stranded out-of-towner that stopped in for directions. Frequent Fire Miles are issued to crew members that express behaviors that depict FF's "Going the Extra Mile" for our fire rescue customers. On this particular scenario there was a man who drove up to the firehouse to secure directions from the on-duty crew. The man was not from this area and was trying to get back home. The man was down and out, low on cash and almost out of fuel. In addition, the time was getting late into the evening and the man had not gotten anything to eat yet. The crews invited the man into the firehouse for a cup of coffee while they drew him up some maps. The man had an extended trip ahead of him and the crew decided to help him out a bit. Turns out the crew provided him a hot meal, filled up his car with gasoline as well as networked with a local motel in order to get him somewhere safe to spend the night. The crews took up a collection to pay for all of this and they left their phone number in case there was anything else they could do for him. If a loved one of mine ever finds themselves stranded in foreign country, I should only hope they encounter the compassion and hospitality of Station 55's finest.

Frequent Fire Miles are dispatched to the following members (see photo from left to right): Jeff Berry, Justin Schainuck, Mike Meyer, Brian Johnson, Pierre Simbert, Mat Poulin and Tim Waterhouse.

Thanks guys for Leading by Example!

Mentoring from the TailboardMentoring from the Tailboard
Posted on December 25th , 2007

We all know by taking the oath to serve our community as PBC firefighters that we are held to standards much higher than those of other members of the public. Our firefighters are striving beyond this standard in seeking new ways to "Go the Extra Mile" for our fire rescue customers. Our elders depend on it as much as our youngest members of the community look up to it. These firefighters are exemplary in their efforts towards "doing the right thing." R/LT Kyle Ventry and Paramedics Liz and Jay Martino are perfect examples of what it means to capture this spirit and compassion.

Apparently Kyle's wife is a school nurse at one of the local schools where they met a young boy living in a most unfortunate family environment. After multiple absences from classes they found out that the young boy was staying home to take care of his foster parent. Despite the young boy being dealt a tough hand in life he was doing what was asked of him. Kyle and his wife took him beneath their wing and started caring for the young boy, including paying for medical and school supplies and even welcoming the boy into their own home. While attempting to find another loving home for the boy to live, he was jumped and robbed after school one day. Items stolen from the boy, his only prize possession ... an iPod which allowed the young boy to escape from the daily challenges he faced. Jay and Liz Martino, who have always been inspired by Kyle's unselfish pursuit of "giving back", decided to purchase a new iPod for the boy and anonymously present it to Kyle. Kyle says the darn thing just showed up one day, but he knows who did it. The Martino's generosity is only matched by their modesty. Together firefighters can really make a difference to the young members of their community if they so choose. Our goal should be ensuring that difference is a positive one. We should all take something from this as we empower ourselves to mentor members within our given response zones. Thank you Kyle, Jay and Liz for representing the spirit of our Department All three will receive Frequent Fire Miles for "Going the Extra Mile" and Mentoring from the Tailboards!

Extra Mile on Thanksgiving DayExtra Mile on Thanksgiving Day
Posted on November 29th , 2007

On Thanksgiving Day, Engine 17 responded with PBGFR, FHP, and PBSO to the Florida Turnpike for a vehicle accident involving a single vehicle rollover. On arrival, units found there were no injuries to the occupants of the vehicle, but a large Mastif had been ejected from the vehicle and fled the scene. After an exhaustive search along the embankments of the FL Turnpike for several miles in either direction, the dog was nowhere to be found. The family was heartbroken that their family dog had been lost on a day when family togetherness was to be celebrated. In contrast to normal procedure, the crews decided to exit the turnpike and search the neighboring areas and sub-developments as well. This initiative of "Going the Extra Mile" and not taking "no" for an answer became infectious and soon all three agencies were coordinating from different communities along the area in search for the lost family pet. Finally the dog was located and reunited with their family member, but not before biting one of the deputies. Words can't explain the appreciation that our fire rescue customers had for these crew members involved. The fact that we're always willing to exercise the boundaries of "doing the right thing" is what sets these folks aside from the rest. Rising above the element of efficient and satisfactory is what it means to "go the extra mile" for our fire-rescue customers. Special Thanks to Palm Beach Gardens FD, PBSO, FHP and our Frequent Fire Mile recipients: Lieutenant Bruce Thompson, DO Gordon Wilson and PM Douglas Taylor of E17.

Station 33  Thinks "Outside the Box"Station 33 Thinks "Outside the Box"
Posted on August 20th , 2007

The Customer Service Team would like to acknowledge the exemplary actions of Station 33 B-Shift. It is clear to us that these crew members displayed what it means of us when we intend on “going the extra mile” for one of our fire rescue customers. In addition, the engine and rescue company members worked together on developing a plan through improvising solutions that might be viewed as "outside the box."

Apparently R33 rolled up on a stranded invalid whose motorized wheelchair (Lark) had broken down in the hot South Florida sun one blazing afternoon a few weeks ago. By the time R33 crew made contact with the citizen, he had been in the heat for about 30 minutes already. Fortunately he was okay and there was no medical need; however, the crews needed some means of getting him home safely. Rescue Lt Pardo called for reinforcements from E33 back at the station where they utilized one of the FF's own personal vehicle (large pickup truck with open bed) in order to get the motorized lark home as well. The stranded man, who's weight was very heavy, was loaded on the rescue stretcher due to his unambulatory status without his transport. The crews took the man home and right into his apartment as well as delivered the Lark to the front office of the apt. complex as well. They decided to network with the property management officials so that a repair technician from the company could come out and make the necessary repairs right there.

Thanks go to all involved including our very own, Jim Hernandez who serves as one of our committee members as well as CSR (Customer Service Rep) for the Recruit Academy. For everyone else, Frequent Fire Miles will be awarded to the following members: RLT Dan Pardo, PM Mike Medley, PM Jason Ruffing, LT Dennis Peek, DO Jon Ferguson, and PM Scott Eddy!

Going the Extra Mile: Sean Fine and Paul SlonakerGoing the Extra Mile: Sean Fine and Paul Slonaker
Posted on December 19th , 2006

The Customer Service Team would like to recognize and reward the efforts of FF/PM Sean Fine and FF/PM Paul Slonaker for their outstanding performance that clearly went above and beyond the normal scope of their duties. Apparently the two were paired up on a special duty detail at the Sound Advice Ampitheatre when a distressed concert attendee was brought to their attention. No medical need was warranted however, the female had been left stranded at the event after a quarrel with her boyfriend. She had moved to Gainesville from out of state against her mother's wishes and had no way of getting home nor was she familiar with the area. The two assisted her in getting in touch with the child's mother back home in Vermont and they were instrumental in getting her to the airport safely so that Mom could fly her back home. Paul and Sean introduced themselves as PBCFR Firefighter/Paramedics over the phone to the parents which represented a sense of reassurance and safety for them as you can only imagine a mother's fear of what could have happened had they not been there for the family. Because of the late hour of the night the flights scheduled were for the next morning so instead of dropping her off their they checked her into The Airport Hilton accross the street and paid for the room out of their own pocket. Before calling it a night, one final phone call was placed to Mom from the lobby assuring her that the hotel manager was informed about the situation and that her daughter was resting safely in room number such and such. Now of course we're not in the hospitality business by any means, but take a moment and recognize the lengths that these two had undertaken and how the spirit of a FF's heart will never be forgotten for one Vermont family who will be together for the holidays thanks to the generousity of PALM BEACH COUNTY FIRE RESCUE's Sean Fine and Paul Slonaker.

Thanks guys for empowering yourselves to get the job done no matter who's job it is!

RE17 Goes the Extra MileRE17 Goes the Extra Mile
Posted on October 27th , 2006

The Customer Service Team would like to recognize RE17 and R14 for delivering the exact type of "going the extra mile" service that the program has been boasting about since our inception late last year. Our thoughts are that good deeds occur every day throughout our department but they seem to "fly beneath the radar" sort of speak. This is not one of those cases.

Apparently RE17 and R14 were dispatched to a cardiac related emergency on the Beeline Highway. Upon RE17's arrival they found a mother and her 3 month old baby son, who had an extensive cardiac history, on their way for a CT Scan at St. Mary's Pediatric. Evidently the vehicle experienced a blowout on one of the tires and the mother, a struggling single parent, didn't know who else to call for help since they only had another 15 minutes till their appointment. Due to the severity of the patient's age and history, R14 transported both the mom and child to St.Mary's. RE17 however, empowered themselves to take the service the "extra mile" when they decided to take the flat tire off the vehicle and drive it over to Dolphin Tire on Military Trail. After speaking to the manager of the store and informing him what had happened, the manager decided to donate a newly used tire to the crew in efforts of assisting the young deserving mother who was obviously having a bad day. RE17 drove back to the vehicle, replaced the tire, and left a note on the windshield for her since she planned on returning to the vehicle later that day. The crews left a message for her at St. Mary's that the vehicle was fixed and ready for her whenever she was complete from the hospital.

This type of Customer Service is exemplary of the message we are trying to share with others in the way that they stepped to the plate when they saw the opportunity, risen to the task of taking on initiative, and coordinating with local resources as good community neighbors often do when they are trying to "do the right thing". Thanks go out to all crew members involved who also will receive Frequent Fire Miles as a token of our recognition: Lt. Nick Gerry, DO Brandon Andersen, FM Charlie Head, FM Dennis McKessey, and FM Ed Bauries.

Governor's Hurricane ConferenceGovernor's Hurricane Conference
Posted on November 9th , 2006

Recently, Chief Steve Jerauld, Joel Brier and Matt Willhite were asked to present an overview of the Relief and Recovery Team at the Governor's Hurricane Conference in Fort Lauderdale. Chief Jerauld provided an overview of the department and our hurricane deployment strategies. Joel shared the mission of the Relief and Recovery Team and the how the system works in our county. Matt gave specific information regarding the acquisition of supplies and how the crews were deployed after a storm has hit the area. The presentation was very well received and we received extremely positive feedback from the attendees.

Over the last three years, the Relief and Recovery Team provided assistance to over 300 members and their families. After last years Hurricane Season, it is apparent that this system works and is a valuable asset to both the members and the department. As part of the departments Hurricane Annex, good/welfare checks are performed by the operational crews of the homes and family of the members of the fire department. The Family Relief and Recovery Team makes temporary repairs to critical areas of your home (roof, window, doors) in order to secure the structure and prevent further damage to your possessions. This team is made up of volunteers and is a cooperative effort between the Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Local 2928 and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.

After a storm has passed, an evaluation of the damage that occurred is done and the Team is advised of the homes of personnel that have sustained damage. Our crews are then sent to these homes based on the damage assessments that we receive and repairs are done to keep the family safe and the contents of their homes from sustaining any further damage. Now is the time for you to prepare for the upcoming season. Make sure you have supplies for your family for at least one week, have a couple large tarps and fasteners at your home for quick repairs, and make sure your contact information in the computer is up to date. Additionally, the Team is always excepting donations to replenish the supplies that we have used in the past. We have a storage area where we can keep supplies when they are needed.

Congratulations to the Relief and Recovery Team for their recognition at the conference.

"31" Crews Lead by Example"31" Crews Lead by Example
Posted on May 10th , 2006

The Customer Service Team would like to recognize station 31 crews for "Leading by Example". Apparently a young boy had been struck by a motor vehicle while riding his bicycle to school one morning last week. RE31 B shift responded with Cpt. Wooldridgte, DO Mack Hobbs, and FM Reyburn on board. Fortunately the boy was not hurt, however, his bicycle was out of service and unable to ride. The child was a little emotional since he was going to be late for school and his bike was all banged up.

PBSO gave the boy a ride to school, but it was RE31 that empowered themselves to toss the broken bike atop the hosebed of the engine for a little firehouse repair. After making some quick adjustments and realigning the wheels, the crew delivered the boy's bicycle to the school where they met with the child's principal to inform him what had occurred. A bystander witnessed Mac Hobbs, Wooldridge, and Reyburn initially on the street and was quite impressed at the length that our crews were committed to in order to make sure that this boy's day did not end on a sour note. The bystander notified a member of our Customer Service Team to inform us that these guys were exemplary of what our department is all about,.... good people doing good things. It's an important message to share that members should view every potential interaction with the public as an opportunity to enhance our professional public image.

Thank you RE31 for "Leading by Example".

Fast Eddie Serves It Up!Fast Eddie Serves It Up!
Posted on May 9th , 2006

Ed Ehrke (aka - Fast Eddie) has been nominated by the Customer Service Team for his exemplary performances out in the field and his stance on customer service concepts through the job that he provides. Eddie has worked hard at building his reputation for fast, courteous and efficient service amongst his customers throughout PBCFR. Ed's customer's, the fire personnel that make up the department, gave him the name "Fast Eddie" because he was the one that crews would often turn to in order to get the job done right, and get it done fast! Ed has been a Fire Apparatus Technician for 18 years with PBCFR and is known for his friendly approach and his expert opinion when it comes down to firefighters and their trucks.

You might know Ed to stop into just about any firehouse in the county for a quick hello or a corny joke, but make no mistake about it, Ed focuses on his people and his relationships just as hard as the vehicles he maintains. By supporting and serving his fire fighters Ed has been successful in building positive customer relationships where he has earned the trust of fire fighters by demonstrating that the people come first! He really cares about keeping the trucks in good service so that the crews may do their jobs safely. Ed is known to give his Nextel numbers to crew members so that they may call him at any time whether on duty or off. Many times Ed was able to walk crews through a temporary situation while on the phone so that emergency vehicles would remain in service till the repair could be made the next morning.

Fast Eddie has also expedited to emergency scenes in order to facilitate a mechanical evaluation or repair with the sense of urgency that only superior customer service demands. Of course this meant that Eddie relied on his experience, skills, and best judgement in order to make those decisions possible,...... but then again that's what makes Edwin Ehkre our top pick for this year's very first Customer Service Award.

Congratulations Fast Eddie and thanks for "Leading by Example! "

Kid Sanctuary Clean UpKid Sanctuary Clean Up
Posted on April 3rd , 2006

The customer service team would like to recognize crews from station 28 and other fire rescue employees for the outstanding service to the community. Lt. Springthorpe (Sta. 28-A), F.F./Paramedic Mike Delrossi (Sta. attatched 28-A), and Jim Bass coordinated the yard pick up and clearing for the Kid Sanctuary on March 10th. The Kid Sanctuary is a group home that assists in placing foster children. Members of the Customer Service Team paired up with crews from station 28 and other Fire Rescue personnel to give back to the Employees of the Kid Sanctuary who give so much of their time and effort in making sure the children are well taken care of. Along the fence line of the children's play area there were overgrown bushes and trees. We worked together to make the area safer for the children because of fears of tree limbs falling into the area or snakes or other critters possibly coming out of the brush.

We would like to thank those of you who consistently show up and rise to the occasion when it comes to "going the extra mile" Special thanks to Jim Bass, Kevin Shaw, Richard Kingston, Kenny Church, and Greg Thomas for their exemplary efforts on this project.

Simply "InVinceable" Vince MerriweatherSimply "InVinceable" Vince Merriweather
Posted on February 28th , 2006

The Customer Service Team would like to recognize Carol Lentz and Judy Gonzales of our dispatch center for their vision and development of a new charity based product designed to raise money for local spinal cord research. It's amazing that this simple idea transformed a product that supports our brother firefighter Vince Merriweather in a way that is nothing less than inspirational! Thanks to Chief Keily, our fire rescue family has been kept up to speed on the status of Vince's remarkable road to recovery and how the power of Vince's strong personality has helped others adapt to recovery within his unit. Carol Lentz, of Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Dispatch has been a huge "behind the scenes" shoulder to lean and a constant supporter of Vince.

It's not unusual for Carol to make anonymous contributions out of her own pocket and she doesn't hesitate to step up to the plate when there is work to be done for a fellow fire rescue member that needs a helping hand. That's why it's not surprising that Carol approached Judy Gonzales about creating a new product that would inspire Vince to "fight strong" through his rehabilitation since the auto accident that left him without the use of his arms and legs. Carol came up with the red fire bracelet inspired by Lance Armstrong's yellow "LiveStrong" bracelet. If you think about the obstacles and odds that Vince has overcome when faced with this seriousness of his spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed, many have simply said, "it's just unbelievable,... but of course we're talking about Vince." Judy loved the idea and immediately coined the phrase, "InVinceable" and thought it would be great to have that displayed on the bracelet. The two began contacting people and making phone calls to place the idea into action, but they did not intend on selling any bracelets or deploying any marketing ideas. They simply wanted Vince to know how much support he had from his close friends, family members and nursing staff who were the original targeted recipients of the bracelets. The bracelets were to be given out for free to those that were close to him and the girls would absorb the costs out of pocket.

Many people were interested in donating money in Vince's name to get one of the highly anticipated "InVinceable" bracelets so a decision was made to sell them at $5.00 each and the funds would be donated to a local charity that supported spinal cord injury research and development. Vince would be able to select the charity of his choosing but he wasn't too crazy about all of the attention at first. After hearing all of the details, he was very pleased to hear that he would be contributing to the aid of helping others with the money that is raised and Vince has embraced the idea of the bracelet and the support that Dispatch represented for us all. Vince may be proud to be a part of The Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Family because of people like Chief Keily, Jen J., Carol, Tracy and Judy alike,......but not nearly as proud as we are to have Vince put our own lives into perspective and teach us all what it means to be a part of this great brother and sisterhood we call The Fire Service! The first 500 bracelets sold out almost immediately and the next 1000 bracelets should be here any day now. Please contact any of the above mentioned names to secure your name on the waiting list to get your "InVinceable" bracelet today!


Steve Driscoll and BlazeSteve Driscoll and Blaze
Posted on February 21st , 2006

The Customer Service Team would like to recognize Firefighter/PM Steve Driscoll for his contributions as a Canine Specialist and trainer of a unique and noble profession. Steve serves on the Florida Task Force USAR Team along with his 4 legged life saving partner, "BLAZE". Steve, who is assigned to RE22/B shift has been with our department since 1991 and has been certified as a Canine Specialist MDFR on Florida Task Force 1 since 1998. Steve has an amazing ability with animals and a proven track record to show for it. Steve's partner and companion is a 4 year old Border Collie and is rated as an Advanced Level 1 Search Dog leaving Blaze in a group of canines that make up fewer than 100 canines in the country! Steve trains Blaze on his own which takes over two solid years to accomplish with additional time and training to bring the dog to the level of Advanced Level I qualifications. Most dogs never reach that level of performance. A dog's drive, focus, intelligence, and agility all come in to play and most dogs fall short.

Blaze has been trained to work the rubble piles searching for live victims since he was only 8 weeks old. Steve and Blaze hold an impressive resume with deployments all over the world including the G8 Summit Meetings, the Turkey Earthquake and Hurricanes Charlie, Frances, Ivan, Dennis, Rita, Jeane, Katrina, and Wilma but has also traveled to many other states in the country as well. It helps build a stronger dog if he works different rubble sites and the stresses involved with that travel and topography. FLTF1 has 6 level 1 handlers/8 level 1 dogs which makes it one of the strongest teams in the country! FLTF II has 3 teams with the next closest Level 1 dog located in Tennessee.

Recently Steve and Blaze were part of an elite team of only 30 personnel who were activated as a Type III Search Team on one of the longest recorded deployments for a canine specialist and handler. Steve and Blaze were assigned to New Orleans for 11 days where their unit performed over 1,137 person rescues as well as located 34 deceased.

Thank you Steve for taking the initiative of "going the extra mile" and in turn,.... bringing pride and notoriety to the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Brand!

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