St. George Island firefighter among 18 added to Florida memorial
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A St. George Island volunteer firefighter was among the 18 fallen first responders to have their name inscribed on the Florida Fallen Firefighter Memorial Tuesday morning.
Brian Smith drowned in Aug. 2020 after he ventured into treacherous conditions to rescue a father and son in distress. Following Smith’s death, Franklin County commissioners approved a new ordinance penalizing people who ignore warning flags on the beach.
The people Smith rescued had been swimming during a double-red flag day.
State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis hosted Tuesday’s ceremony as the fallen firefighters’ names were etched on the memorial in the Florida Capitol Courtyard.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried joined Patronis at the ceremony.
“Today, we honor Florida’s firefighters who answered the call for service but did not come home. They dedicated their life to their communities and paid the ultimate sacrifice. With the Ringing of the Bell tradition, we honor those who have given so much and who have served with dedication, compassion and dignity,” Patronis said. “With each ring, we mark the ending of a final call for the brave souls honored on these walls, the ones who lost their lives bravely and with honor. This year, as we reflect on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 and the tragic condo collapse in Surfside, it further emphasizes for everyone the tremendous sacrifices our first responders give to keep our communities safe. God bless these fallen heroes and their families.”
Below, you’ll find the full list of the honored firefighters:
- Anthony C. Christensen – City of Naples Fire Rescue
- Donald DiPetrillo - Seminole Tribe of Florida Fire Rescue
- Lloyd Losinger - Ocean City-Wright Fire Control District
- Dwain S. Bradshaw – Escambia County Fire Rescue
- Scott R. Neumann – Martin County Fire Rescue
- Brian S. Smith – St. George Island Volunteer Fire Department
- Thomas M. Barber – Jacksonville Fire Rescue
- Hervè Thomas – Monroe County Fire Rescue
- David L. Abernathy – Palm Beach Fire Rescue
- Walter “Pete” Gee - Fort Myers Shores Fire Protection & Rescue Service District
- Randall M. Donaldson, Jr. – Osceola County Fire Rescue
- Jeremy J. Saunders – Orlando International Airport Fire Rescue
- William C. Donaldson – Sarasota County Fire Department
- Jeremy J. McKay – Clay County Fire Rescue
- James G. Gunter – Cape Coral Fire Department
- Michelle Clore – Cape Coral Fire Department
- Jimmy D. Riley – Plant City Fire Rescue
- Eric M. Siena – Orange County Fire Rescue
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