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We are living in very uncertain times.  Many of the things we know as normal are now fundamentally changed from our abilities to interact with each other, worship God, educate our children, and to mourn our dead. One could say 2020 has ben a whirlwind for the front line workers, and I could not be prouder to represent a group of individuals that have turned this challenge into an opportunity to shine.  Each day I am amazed at the courage and commitment you have shown to the citizens of our community.

I am aware that many of you are concerned about your health, your family's health, and how you are treated by the employer during these unprecedented times.  My office is in continuous contact with the DVP’s that represent your units to ensure we stay informed of the challenges you face daily.  We do not take the responsibility lightly and communicate with legal counsel weekly on these issues, with the desire to assure your safety and that of your family. We continue to keep the lines of communication open with your employers to confirm the ever-changing modalities used to protect you and to prevent the spread of this virus are being discussed. 

Just like you, the Local has had to change how we complete the Locals' business. Many of our meetings will be conducted via Zoom, and the in-person meetings follow the CDC guidelines with masks being the new normal.  The Florida Professional Firefighters convention has been delayed from November and will be an online meeting.  The IAFF convention moved to January, and we are unsure if we will meet in person.

Hopefully, one day soon, we will get back to normal. Until then, we must follow science and protect ourselves, our family, and loved ones by taking universal precautions to include masks and eye protection.  As workers on the front line, this is the standard operating procedure, and we have used universal precautions for years to protect against AIDS, Hepatitis, and  other Viruses and Bacteria’s.  Sometimes I forget how contagious COVID is until I think about individuals I know who died from this virus.





We are full-on into the political season, many important local races to be completed in November, please remember to vote as it is such a critical time in this charged political season. I have never in my almost 60 years felt a Country so divided, quite disheartening, Whether you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent, you must cast your vote. The Local will not tell you who to vote for nor will the IAFF, contrary we will advise you which candidates support the issues surrounding firefighter health, benefits, and safety. Every two years, we go through a big political cycle, interviewing candidates and making our picks regarding the candidates that support Firefighter issues. It’s a process you're encouraged to participate in. Please check with the DVP and express your interest each year to ensure your ability to participate.

The Local has named Jason Berzowski as the first Political Liaison for Local 2546, and this position will assist your DVP in the coordination, communication, and distribution of political information Local wide. Jason is responsible for making the candidate interviews, coordinating the membership rallies in support of the candidates, and acting as a liaison between the local President and the candidates. It’s a pretty big job and quite intense during the political season. Thanks for your hard work thus far in 2020, Jason.

Joel Baker of North River was named Assistant to the President; his job is just as big as the Political Liaison  because he will fill in all of the gaps needed to ensure the nuances of the Local are getting the attention required. From assisting the President on projects to DVP negotiations prep (salary studies, language comparison), complex member issues, advanced grievance resolution, policy review and format, and assistance in succession planning to assure you have as many educated candidates available to fill in positions vacated in the years to come.


Please stay safe, take precautions on and off the job. God’s speed in all you do.



Congrats to Our 2020-2021 Scholarship Recipients

  • Rose Bauer
  • Chadwick Davis
  • Mikayla Friday
  • James Lynn Fowler II
  • Jordan Trompke
Good Luck in Your Future Endeavors!!
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Mark Your Calendars 

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December 5, 2020

Brothers and Sisters,

                Allow me to express my deepest gratitude for electing me as your Secretary. It is with great honor that I look forward to serving you in this capacity. I hope to fulfill this position with the integrity and diligence it requires. As expected, there is a lot of work to do and I am getting up to speed with all the nuances of the position.

Currently we are working on updating every member file. We are making sure to have everyone’s current information such as address, personal email, and all other contact information. We are also reviewing everyone’s file for beneficiary information. We will be having a Local wide update in the near future. Remember, the beneficiary forms are available at the Union office to update your beneficiary as needed with the Local. Please pay attention to your DVP’s updates in the next few months.

In technological news, our IAFF has launched the IAFF SMART APP. This application will allow for all of us to have improved communications. There’s a lot to learn on all the tools this application has. As soon as our files are updated, I will be working on learning all the ins and outs to guide everybody on using the application. 

In political news, I would like to express a big thank you to all of our Brothers and Sisters who have participated so far in this year’s political races. From sign waiving to knocking on doors for candidates, your participation makes a big impact. As much as all of us know that politics are not everyone’s favorite subject, it is the lifeblood of our livelihood. To give you some back ground, we have an interview process and screen every candidate who is willing to meet with us. The reason Candidates seek our endorsement is twofold. First is our approval rating, we as firefighters always have over 90 % approval ratings in almost every community.

Second, but most impactful, is our boots on the ground effort. When we all participate no one can match us. Sign waiving, knocking on doors, working a poll location handing out a candidate’s flyer, or hanging door signs are just a few examples of what we can do to help a candidate’s campaign. These are all small efforts that take an hour or two of your day. I understand everyone has a life, but so do your union leaders and they can’t do it all by themselves. No one’s asking that you as a member must participate in every single thing going on. We want you to participate in what you can. If all of us divide the work amongst our almost 1300 members in this Local, WE CAN get it all done.

Now, for those of you that worry about party affiliation or certain personal political views when it comes to voting for candidates.  I would like to remind you that this union looks at a candidate’s merit solely on firefighter and labor issues. How they stand on other personal political views is not in the purview of the Union. At the end of the day, you all get to vote your conscious at the ballot box. We simply give you guidance as to the candidates who will work with us to protect your pay, benefits and working conditions. Remember, those who get elected to your boards are ultimately the people who will decide what’s done with your jurisdiction’s funds and assets.

Lastly, but most important is that I hope this letter found you and your families well. There’s a lot of turmoil in the nation right now and we are often on the front lines of having to mitigate many issues. Please stay safe and count on this union to be there to support you. The IAFF provides many services from behavioral health, job safety, financial planning, and many others. Contact your DVP or steward and they can help you to the help you need.

In unity your Brother,


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Supporting Sarasota County Commissioner Mike Moran at the Polls

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Brothers and Sisters,


What a crazy summer it has been, hopefully things level out soon.  We just finished our August E-board and General Membership meeting, thanks for all those who zoomed in. Conventions have been canceled or postponed and political season is here in full force.

With Covid-19 still around, many things have switched to virtual meetings.  As many of you know the E-board meetings and General Membership meetings have moved to the zoom platform.  The Florida Professional Firefighter Convention and the International Association of Firefighter’s Convention have been postponed and are probably going virtual as well, stay tuned for more information on them.

This has been a busy political season.  I have been assisting, Jason Berzowski, our new Political Liaison and the Longboat District Vice President in political sign holding, walking neighborhoods and political interviews.  I have also been assisting in department negotiations and other various union business. 

The 2020-2021 fiscal year is coming to a close, which means the upcoming budget has started taking a good amount of my time.  There have been a lot of new hires the last year throughout our 12 departments.  If you notice anyone that is not a member that would like to be, please have them get with their department’s DVP to get signed up.  I would hate for someone to fall through the cracks and feel like they are unwanted or unwelcome into our Firefighter Family.  Also, anyone looking to get more involved please let your DVP or Stewards know.  There is always a lot of work to do many hands make light work.

Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to serve as your Treasurer.  I have learned a lot the last two years in this role and have much more to learn.  Feel free to reach out if you need anything or have any questions. 



Johnny Rigney, Jr.

Treasurer, Local 2546

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Brothers and Sisters,


First let me say thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to serve as your Secretary.  It was an honor I will never forget.  I am blessed to be a part of such a diverse Local.  Thank you to the members of the Executive Board who believed in me enough to give me this opportunity.  Thank you to Phil, Merv, and Johnny.  I learned so much from you guys.  I can say after being in the office over the last 9 months, that this Local has a wealth of knowledge available to it in those 3.  Being able to go to our Nation’s Capital with you guys, on my first ever trip there, and walk Capital Hill to speak for firefighters everywhere, is a memory I’ll truly cherish. 


Congrats to new Secretary Gerardo “G” Rogazy.  This Local is blessed to have guys like the people who ran for office willing to step up and try to do the work of this union.  We had great candidates.  My friend G Rogazy is going to make a great Secretary.  I’ve seen him work very hard behind the scenes for many years in our Local.  And have no doubt that work ethic is going to carry on into the Secretary’s position.  Now on to the new business of the Local.


First let me say I’m honored that have be entrusted as your Political Liaison for the Local.  The political arena has always been a passion of mine.  And being able to use that passion to benefit our membership is something I’m very excited about.                                                                                                                                                   

Make no doubt about it Brothers and Sisters.  If the economy struggles, all those things we fought to get, or in some cases just get back over the last 10 years since our last big recession will be under severe attack.  My Friend DVP Doug Huffman preaches by politics, because like he likes to say…. “You could be the best negotiator in the world, but if your politics isn’t right, it doesn’t mean anything”. 

And he couldn’t be more right.  I’ll be working hard everyday to try to get our friends in office. So we can protect the benefits you earned and fought for all these years.  I’ll march whatever streets, halls, offices that are needed to try and make sure we have friends in elected office.  I’m honored you all believe in me, but I know it won’t be an easy task.  I believe this position is long overdue in a Local as large and diverse as ours.  And I look forward to the challenges ahead. 

My last Thank You goes out to my Brothers and Sisters at Longboat Key.  I joined this Local almost 13 years ago after being with Orange County for 4 years prior.  As soon as I came to LBK, they believed in me.  I was a shop steward, then eventually became DVP.  They believed in me through long pension fights, wage freezes, and many other things.  And they believed in me enough to stay the course with me at the helm.  We eventually found better conditions TOGETHER.  They entrusted me first.  Without their trust I would never have found myself in this position.  And for that I am grateful.  I have a great team surrounding me there, and with that allows me to do other things for the Local.


In Regards to LBK.  We’re getting ready for contract negotiations.  Our Charity Golf Tournament is Saturday, November 14th.  Sign ups for it are on our Local FB Page and the Longboat Key Firefighters Association FB page.  It’s a great time every year.  I hope you all stay healthy through this pandemic. 




Jason Berzowski

New Members

Welcome to Local 2546

When you see these members take a moment and welcome them into the Org. 
Jadilyn Duenas - Punta Gorda Fire
Brendan Lewellan- City of Bradenton Fire
Aaron Wright- City of Bradenton Fire
Giovannie Rivera Alicea- North River Fire
Joshua McHale -North Port Fire
Ben Rigney- West Manatee Fire
Ashton Jasinski- West Manatee Fire
Harold Bitner- City of Venice Fire
Sandra Drake - City of Venice Fire
Sean Duffy- City of Venice Fire
Brittney Gonzalez- City of Venice Fire
Ottone Guraly- City of Venice Fire
Christopher LaLanne- City of Venice Fire
Paul Lauffer - City of Venice Fire 
Samantha Lobsinger- City of Venice Fire
Daniel Martinez- City of Venice Fire
Donald Morrell, Jr. - City of Venice Fire
Barry Spinweber- City of Venice Fire
Brandle Tillman - City of Venice Fire
Ruth Ann Unruh - City of Venice Fire
Brad Vaught- City of Venice Fire
Jonathan Appelo - Charlotte County Fire & EMS
Carson Baras - Charlotte County Fire & EMS
Ludgeor Cameus - Charlotte County Fire & EMS
David Chin - Charlotte County Fire & EMS
Ryan Duffy - Charlotte County Fire & EMS
Felix Hernandez - Charlotte County Fire & EMS
Brandon Hurley - Charlotte County Fire & EMS
Breanna Jacobs - Charlotte County Fire & EMS
Michael Johnson - Charlotte County Fire & EMS
Alexander Katkin - Charlotte County Fire & EMS
Logan Massie -  Charlotte County Fire & EMS
Matthew Tricarico - Charlotte County Fire & EMS
Caleb Van Helden -  Charlotte County Fire & EMS
Brion Adams - Sarasota County Fire
Caroline Curran - Sarasota County Fire
Jennifer Jackson - Sarasota County Fire
Andrew Leichty - Sarasota County Fire 
Zachary Lowe - Sarasota County Fire
Michael Matheis - Sarasota County Fire
Adam Ropp -Sarasota County Fire
Jonathan Shumaker - Sarasota County Fire
Colin Tarro - Sarasota County Fire
Johan Valero - Sarasota County Fire

Recently Retired

Congratulations on Your Retirement 

Dennis Schnack- Sarasota County

Mark Calderini – Sarasota County

Jeff Hibbs- Sarasota County

Todd Tedder – Sarasota County

David Gentry- Sarasota County

Jim Turner – City of Bradenton

Matt Sawyer -  City of Bradenton

Gene Gardy – North Port

Rod Griffon – North River

Mark Crigler- Charlotte County

Charlie Holbrook – Charlotte County

Frederico Gardini – Charlotte County

Kenneth Barkley, Jr. – Charlotte County

Kyle Eldridge – Southern Manatee

Thanks  to  Board of Trustee member and MDA coordinator, Charlotte County Fire & EMS retiree Wendy Norman. Enjoy your Retirement!!

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Hi Everyone,


I hope all is well with you and yours. Even though there's a lot happening, I'll be brief.


The contract is finally done. Yeah! That was easy. Thanks again for your patience and the extra patience you displayed if you happened to get caught up in the retro pay debacle.


Congrats go out to the Weavers and the Goulds. Both couples welcomed new additions recently. Val and Will Weaver added baby Grady to the family back in May and in June, Lauren and Jared Gould welcomed baby Amelia.


More recently, Battalion Chief Matt Sawyer crossed the finish line in an almost 25-year long career. Hats off to you, Matt. Enjoy, you've earned it.


Politically, the winds of change are blowing. Mayor Poston has decided he will not be seeking reelection. Instead, he intends to ride off into the sunset leaving behind a legacy like no other. His fingerprints are all over this Department and this town. Take it from me, I've lived here all my life and worked here more than half my life.... It's better. WAY better. We all owe Wayne Poston a huge debt of gratitude. 


With the Mayors seat now up for grabs, Councilman Brown and Councilman Byrd are both in the running. After considerable discussion, interviews with both gentlemen and a lot of thought-provoking counsel, we've endorsed Councilman Brown for Mayor.

Councilman Gene Gallo has also decided not to seek reelection and in turn, leaves an impressive legacy all his own. Another huge debt of gratitude is owed to this former Fire Chief and unwavering advocate for the Bradenton Fire Department. His departure leaves his Ward 1 seat vacant but not for long. He will be replaced by the awesome and very capable Jayne Kocher. She ran unopposed in that Ward and will win the seat by acclimation. 

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Chief Gallo- Circa 1960's

In the now vacant Ward 5 seat we've endorsed newcomer Keenan Wooten. I say newcomer but this isn't Mr. Wooten’s first rodeo. I've known Keenan for more than five years now. He's been politically active for all of that time. He's a strong advocate for his Ward and has their overwhelming support. He has challenged for the Ward 5 seat before and faired very well. In fact, if it hadn't been for our efforts four years ago, he'd probably already be a Councilman. He's a union guy, as was his father and will be a friend to us, the City and its residents. 


So, even as the pandemic rages on, this election is happening and we must be active in it. Our actions will ensure that our way of life only gets better. Be aware that I'll be asking for your help. It may take on a different appearance but will in no way be less important than what we normally do. 


Please stand by and be ready to answer the call when the time comes. 


Again, thanks for everything. It's an honor to represent you all.



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Brothers and sisters,


I am incredibly humbled and excited to have been voted to be Charlotte County’s District Vice-President. I do not take the responsibility that I have undertaken lightly and look forward to assisting in our member’s mission. I have taken time to reach out to other unions in Charlotte County and have had meetings with their union leaders to discuss joint opportunities and our future within the County.


We are currently working on building our official steward team and have been working on a steward onboarding lesson plan. I look forward to working with and learning from the Principal Officers and other Vice-Presidents in our Local who have countless years of experience.




Brendan Betancourt  


       Charlotte County 

1 % Local Option Sales Tax

Good For the Citizens and For Firefighters
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Brothers and Sisters,


A lot of exciting things are happening at North River.  We have had a retirement, a few promotions, contract negotiations, and a time frame has been set to go ALS.  A lot of good things are in the future of North River.

I would like to congratulate Rod Griffon on his retirement and wish him the best.  Through Rod’s retirement there have been two promotions, Drew Clark promoted to Captain and Aaron Taylor promoted to Engineer.  I would like to congratulate them both and have every confidence that they will fill their new positions well.  Congratulations are in order for North River’s newest hire, Giovannie Rivera Alicea.  Gio has also recently signed up with the local.

I would like to congratulate Joel Baker on being appointed to a position within the local.  President Vets has named Joel as the Assistant to the President.  The appointment was made at the most recent E-board meeting and confirmed by the members of the Board.  Over the years Joel has proven his dedication and work ethic and I am sure he will continue to bring passion to his work.

The negotiations are going well, so far.  As a new DVP I have been receiving a lot of help and guidance from President Vets.  I would like to thank President Vets for being patient with me and guiding me down the right path.  With Phil’s guidance and the input from the members, I believe we will be able to negotiate another fair contract.  I will continue to post the dates and times of negotiations.  I hope to continue to see strong support at the negotiations. 

North River is moving forward with going ALS.  The goal date to go ALS has been set for 1/1/2021.  It has been talked about for a while and the District has put several firefighters through medic school.  It is going to be a big move forward and is very exciting for everyone involved.  As always if anyone has any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call, text, or email me.





Ben Miller

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Greetings Southern Manatee,


This is my first "Straight Streams" submission, so I will try not to mess it up. I hope this article finds all of you and your families safe and healthy. These are trying times for all of us.

If you are unaware, our Administration has re-instituted the "Admin Leave" sick call policy, so if you feel ill stay home, you won't use any accrued sick time and won't lose your wellness day.

Our ALS program has been slightly delayed because of COVID, but our second ALS engine is tentatively scheduled to go online in late August, but subject to change. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those that have assisted SMFR by becoming a Paramedic, your efforts and sacrifices are not unnoticed. We are still learning the ins and outs of ALS engines and I would ask that we stay the course and be patient.

Remember, next summer we will start negotiating our next contract. Ensuring our Paramedics receive comparable pay incentives with surrounding departments is a priority. There are also 3 MOU's that our Administration has introduced. I have already discussed them briefly via email but I would like to have an actual meeting to discuss in detail. Due to COVID, the meeting will probably be virtual, either Zoom or Go to Meeting, if you are a Medic or soon will be, please make every effort to attend. I'll let everyone know soon when the meetings will be. 

Please congratulate FF/PM Kyle Eldridge on his retirement. You will be missed Kyle! 

As usual, if you have any questions or concerns please call me. Until next time, stay safe! 




Derek Foss

Southern Manatee DVP  

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 Training at Sable Trace Golf Club

Hello Brothers and Sisters of 2546,


I hope this finds you all healthy. Here we are again as another quarter has passed and Woooooohooooo, what a hell of a ride it has been!! Along with all of the COVID happenings we have been pretty fortunate here in North Port. When this first struck, I think we were all a little unsure of what to do. I can proudly say our Department hit the ground running and we haven’t looked back since. We were very proactive with PPE, sanitization and maintaining “social distancing”. Whether we agree or disagree with our procedures that were changing daily; we can’t really deny the results. So far, only a few members have done self-quarantine while awaiting results, all of which have been negative; so that has been great news for our members at NPFR.


COVID has pretty much consumed us all so there is only a few things to report. Nick Herlihy has been promoted to Division Chief, while Ray Coyle has jumped off the line and taken on the task of filling his big shoes in training. We wish both of them well in their endeavors. Its election time and we have endorsed Debbie McDowell, Jacqueline Moore, and Rich Suggs. We have been busy with their campaigns and the challenges that have resulted from our dear friend COVID…. but we are still taking care of business.

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Lastly, our Station 86 plans have been picked, the property is secured and we should have shovels in the ground before our next Straight Streams. The station is going to be impressive and will have a large glass front which will display our refurbished Seagrave parade engine that we are all super proud of.


That’s about sums it all up for us here in North Port. I hope you and your families all stay safe; this will be over soon enough and we will get back to normal. NOT the “new normal”….. That doesn’t exist in my world.


When in doubt, remember what my good friend says.

‘life’s a garden, DIG IT!”



Jentzen Barton

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 Training at Sable Trace Golf Club
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 Hello Brothers and Sisters, 


 I hope this article finds you and your families in good health.


 It has been incredibly busy here at Venice with what everybody else is dealing with as well as the implementation of the ALS program here in the City. The Corona virus has complicated a great many things just like it has everywhere. We are at the end of our hiring process for the additional personnel needed for the ALS program.  With all the new hires this has brought a great deal of challenges; such as training while following policy on distancing  and getting  to know all the new faces.

As luck would have it we're in the middle of negotiations in these unprecedented times.  The City is concerned with the uncertainty of the impact financially that this pandemic is going to cause in the next few years.  This unfortunately is the bed rock that negotiations are built on at this time with us. I am hopeful we may be able to tentatively agree on a contract in the next few weeks that I can bring to the membership that reflects some very difficult negotiating considering the current climate.


 Be safe, 



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Brothers and Sisters,


In these trying times,  as you all know, we have all learned to become closer, trust more, and witness what true Brotherhood brings.


Englewood Fire has faced challenging times, but we are becoming stronger because of it. We have been working more on our future and place with EMS, finalizing orders for new engines, negotiating a new contract, and looking back on our first full year with Chief Easton.


Our contract negotiations went well and very smooth.  We have a great group of people to talk through any indifference we may have had; and then figure what is the best for the majority.  The contract passed unanimously and that is two contracts in a row that were unanimous.

We will be promoting 3 more lieutenants this year and hiring one Paramedic FF. We have 4 FFs in Paramedic schools right now and will be hiring Paramedic/ FFs from now on. This is a new direction we are looking into and hopefully it will be largely successful and will bring a more rounded Fire Dept. for the Englewood community. 

Let's all have patience through these trying times and remember we are all in this together.


In Brotherhood and Love,


Roman Grabowski 

DVP Englewood Fire Dept

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I wanted to talk with you about the future of this Local and the future of your Sarasota Unit.  I had a plan this year, to have a couple of general membership meetings to discuss your future but COVID messed that up!  As soon as we can, we’ll have some general membership meetings because I believe they’re the best way to communicate to the membership. 

I will be retiring from SCFD in March of 2022 and my DVP term ends May 2022.  I’ll be your DVP for 2 months after I retire.  I do not plan on continuing as a Union Officer after that date but will always be available to help the new DVP.  That transition usually takes a year for the new DVP to feel comfortable on their own, especially for disciplines.  Your current Union officers will be able to share and produce files and information to the oncoming Officers better than any other transition in our Local’s history.  This will greatly help the oncoming elected officers with past history and the tools needed to hit the ground running.

As SCFD continues to grow in size and numbers, the DVP position will become increasing harder to manage.  Right now, it is a 24/7 job that is all consuming and never ending.  You as members will need to come together and think about different ways to handle and manage a large Unit and Local.  That might be restructuring positions, adding positions, moving into the digital world, rethinking our political actions, creating principle officers within our Unit and paying Union officers appropriately.  Many different ways to move forward but that will be for you to decide because it’s your future and I’ll help the best I can.

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 We do start negotiations next year so that will give us plenty of opportunities to have general membership meetings to discuss the future.  But for now, if you have interest in the Local’s future reach out to Steward Reyes or myself and get involved.  I would like nothing more than to share our knowledge with those who want to put the time and effort into creating and maintaining a better future for your Local. 

In Unity,


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Hello Brothers and Sisters,

I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe out there. There has been a lot going here at CHFR since last quarter. Here are a few things going on.

First, I would like to say within the madness of Covid-19 we were able to bring on three new Firefighters. I would like to welcome FF Thomas Bell, FF Blake Sullivan, and FF Ethan Viera to the Brotherhood. Getting into the fire service is very competitive and one of the best jobs in the world. I wish all three of you a happy and safe career.  I would also like to congratulate FF Glass on becoming a new driver/pump operator. It is a big responsibility, and honor to be able to drive that big red box.  

I would also like to announce that CHFR has three Commissioner seats open up for re-election this year. I would like thank Rich McGinley, Marnie Matarese, and John Stevens for stepping up and running for those seats.  We look forward to “hopefully” having these three on our Board and what the future holds.

As negotiations continue with Administration, everything seems to be going well. We are able to reach agreements with open dialogue and understanding from both sides. There are still some things to work through as we get closer to wrapping up our new contract. I feel with the way things have gone it gives me great hope for future relations.

Finally, we are continuing to stay in compliance with the CDC, and Manatee County protocol battling Covid-19. I appreciate everyone’s efforts and hard work. As always, I’m here for you.


Stay Strong and Stay safe,


Endorsements Facebook Ad- Rich McGinley.
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Greeting Brothers and Sisters,


Welcome to another addition of Straight Streams. I hope you are all well in this new era of Covid. 


Things at the West Manatee Unit are moving along well with the ALS program. All of our stations are now staffed full time with at least one Firefighter/Charge Paramedic. With more personnel going to Medic school, it shouldn't be long before most, if not all, on line staff are Paramedics. It wasn't that long ago when some people said that this would never happen.


Congratulations are in order for several new hires. Ashton Jazinski, Max Pollock and Casey Fichbach. All three have various backgrounds in the fire service through years of volunteering or working at other departments. Congratulations to Lisa Sadillo for being the latest member complete her probationary status. And Congratulations to Fire Inspector Lieutenant Kieth Miller for his recent promotion. 


After a thorough vetting process of three candidates for the upcoming  WMFR Fire Commissioner election, the Local chose to endorse Robert Bennett for the District 5 seat being vacated by Commissioner Randy Cooper. Thank You, to Commissioner Randy Cooper for your years of service to the District and the West Manatee community. The Local has also given a Letter of Endorsement to District 1 Seat incumbent, Commissioner Larry Jennis. We look forward to working with you in the future.


With Respect and Honor to those who serve,

Buddy Bowen, WMFR DVP 

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Brothers and Sisters,


Not much going on in the City at the moment. Covid restrictions continue to have almost all City sanctioned events cancelled. 


Greg Murray the City’s New City Manager has arrived and will be working with our current CM to smooth the transition into his new role. As restrictions start to decrease around the City I plan on meeting with Mr. Murray as well as our Council members.


I have spoken to our members who have shown interest in helping with next years contract negotiations and will be meeting with these individuals in the near future to discuss a timeline and plans. 


Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. 


As always Stay Safe,



General Election
November 3, 2020
General Election
November 3, 2020
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Manatee County

Vern Buchanan - U.S. House of Representatives- Dist. 16

Jim Boyd - Florida Senate - Dist. 21

Will Robinson - Florida House of Representatives - Dist. 71

Tommy Gregory - Florida House of Representatives - Dist. 73

Robert Bennett - West Manatee Fire Commission - Seat 3

Rich McGinley - Cedar Hammock Fire Commission - Seat 1

John Stevens - Cedar Hammock Fire Commission - Seat 5

Gene Brown - City of Bradenton - Mayor

Keenan Wooten - City of Bradenton - Ward 5

Charlotte County

Greg Steube - U.S. House of Representatives - Dist. 17

Joe Gruters - Florida Senate - Dist. 23

Michael Grant - Florida House of Representatives - Dist. 74

Sarasota County

Vern Buchanan - U.S. House of Representatives - Dist. 16

Greg Steube - U.S. House of Representatives - Dist. 17

Joe Gruters - Florida Senate - Dist. 23

Will Robinson - Florida House of Representatives - Dist. 71

Fiona McFarland - Florida House of Representatives - Dist. 72

Tommy Gregory - Florida House of Representatives - Dist. 73

James V. Buchanan - Florida House of Representatives - Dist. 74

Mike Moran - Sarasota County Commission - Dist. 1

Nancy Detert - Sarasota County Commission - Dist. 3

Ron Cutsinger - Sarasota County Commission - Dist. 5 

Rich Suggs - North Port City Commission - Dist. 1

Jacqueline Moore - North Port City Commission - Dist. 2

Debbie McDowell - North Port City Commission - Dist. 3

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Honoring Naples FF Anthony Christensen who tragically passed away due to COVID 19- Complications

Sarasota County Honor Guard (Commander - Todd Mercer, Curt Tellbuescher, Brian Reese, Johnny Rigney, John Hill, Charles Reynolds, Patty Wacha, Michele Callaway)

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In Memoriam

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Captain Keith Peterson
Sarasota County Fire
12/31/1967 - 6/02/2020
Leonard Alpaugh
Sarasota County Fire 
11/29/1945 - 8/15/2020
Patrick Kilduff
Sarasota County Fire
3/16/1962 - 5/23/2020
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Due to COVID safety precautions guests were not allowed to attend the Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial in Colorado this year. Please click on pic to watch the virtual ceremony.  

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Paul Donnelly
Laura Gross
Jim Brantley
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