I have received several inquiries about the public records exemptions to Florida's "Government in the Sunshine" laws (Chapters 119 & 286 F.S.) afforded to firefighters and EMS personnel. Most have indicated that their concerns are a result of recent news that the President's Task Force of Voter Fraud has requested comprehensive voter information from all Secretaries of State, which the Task Force intends to make available to the public.
As you may know, 119.071(4) F.S. states the following regarding the release of information related to firefighters and EMS personnel:
The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of firefighters certified in compliance with s. 633.408; the home addresses, telephone numbers, photographs, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such firefighters; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such firefighters are exempt from s. 119.07(1).
The home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and photographs of current or former emergency medical technicians or paramedics certified under chapter 401; the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and places of employment of the spouses and children of such emergency medical technicians or paramedics; and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such emergency medical technicians or paramedics are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution if the emergency medical technicians or paramedics have made reasonable efforts to protect such information from being accessible through other means available to the public. This sub-subparagraph is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2021, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
Unfortunately, these protections are not automatic and you must specifically request that your protected information be exempted. As it pertains to your voter information, you must submit a form to the Office of the Secretary of State. A link to the form, along with submission instructions, can be found here. Additionally, you may wish to send a copy of the request, along with a cover letter requesting the same exemption, to your local Supervisor of Elections.
Finally, property owners may wish to contact the Property Appraiser and Tax Collector in any Florida jurisdiction(s) where they own property for information on how to submit a request to their respective offices.
Remember, it is an unfortunate fact that, despite the good work we do, there are risks that come along with our jobs and those who would seek to harm us for doing so. Please take a moment to make these requests for the safety and privacy of you and your families.
E. Scott Heinis, Secretary
Suncoast Professional Firefighters and Paramedics
Local 2546 of the International Association of Firefighters
740 Commerce Drive, Suite 1
Venice, FL 34292
Main Office: (941) 485-5193
Direct Line: (941) 441-3366
Fax: (941) 488-6134
You may have heard about the sale of Kaplan University to the Indiana-based Purdue University. We want to assure our members and family members who are enrolled through our partnership with Kaplan University that the benefits, academic programs and support services will not change.
The only thing that changes is future graduates will earn their diplomas from the new university. Students who graduate between now and the end of the year will continue to receive their diploma from Kaplan University.
The new university, which is yet to be named, will likely be established in approximately six to seven months, pending the necessary regulatory and accreditor approvals. Kaplan University students will be transferred to the new university but will keep the same instructors, courses and learning programs.
We are committed to providing opportunities for members to pursue higher education programs at a price they can afford and will provide additional updates as the purchase process progresses.
Our redesign of your Straight Streams newsletter has been completed and the latest edition is now available!
You can read it online in your web browser or download a PDF copy by following this link: Straight Streams – Summer 2017.
We are offering a beta version as an .epub file your your e-reader devices, which can be downloaded here. Please be patient with this pre-release product while we experiment with different presentation formats.
Please Note: As a part of our transition to online/electronic delivery of Straight Streams, all members have been set to receive it that way by default. If you wish to receive a printed hard copy of Straight Streams, please contact me via e-mail or phone (listed below) so that I can change your preference and verify your contact information.
Broward County, FL Local 4321, was officially sworn in at IAFF headquarters by General President Harold Schaitberger as the new 12th District Vice President, replacing Larry Osborne who has retired after 10 years of distinguished service on the IAFF Executive Board.
The International conducted special election nominations to fill Osborne’s seat. As the only person nominated for the position, a single ballot was cast for Dix and he was acclaimed as 12th District Vice President.
“I am confident that Brother Dix will follow the great legacies of all our past 12th District Vice Presidents and will serve our members in an outstanding manner,” says Schaitberger. “I know we all look forward to working with him on behalf of our great union.”
He adds, “On behalf of General Secretary-Treasurer Edward Kelly and myself, I congratulate Larry Osborne for an incredible career working on behalf of our great membership and for a long deserved retirement.”
Dix says, “I am extremely honored and humbled to follow such strong union leaders like Larry Osborne, Dominick Barbera and Charlie Hall. For more than 45 years, the 12th District has had the absolute privilege of being represented by good men who are union to the core. I believe that my time spent working alongside these great union leaders will serve me well in representing the 12th District.”
As a native of South Florida, Dix has spent his career of 37 years with Broward County Fire Rescue, serving as president of Local 4321 for the past 26 years. During his tenure as president, Dix helped orchestrate the merger of nine locals to form Local 4321 and spearheaded several municipal mergers with Broward County Fire Rescue.
In 2010, he was awarded the prestigious IAFF Leadership Award. In 2009, he was named the state of Florida Professional Firefighter of the Year.
Dix has also joined disaster relief efforts for major hurricanes, establishing IAFF disaster relief operations centers for Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita and Super Storm Sandy.
With more than 30,000 members, the 12th District is the third-largest district in the IAFF.
Local 2546 Update - Shift Calendars
Members, Family and Friends:
This year the Local will be providing shift calendars via three methods based on feedback from our members - the Local 2546 App for Android and iOS, a mobile web version and a physical pocket calendar.
Currently the Local 2546 App is in review by Apple's App Store. Once it becomes available, we will post an update on the Local's website, here on Facebook and via Twitter.
The mobile web version can be accessed by visiting the following link: http://calendar.iaff2546.com
Just select your department from the dropdown menu to see a version of the shift calendar that has been customized for you.
Click here for instructions to add an icon for accessing the online shift calendar to your home screen for both Android and iOS devices.
For those of you who prefer a physical calendar, we have two options for you - you can download a customized shift calendar that you can print at home or you can request a 'generic' folded pocket calendar by contacting your DVP. You can access the printable version of the shift calendar by visiting the following link: https://goo.gl/EXSk8j
Thanks for your patience while we expand our methods for keeping you all engaged and informed.
The Local 2546 YouTube channel is now live!
Visit our page via the link below to stay up-to-date via the latest Union-related media.
Firefighter iPhone Apps
Other Firefighter iPhone Apps
An easy and simply log for the events specific to fire activity to avoid fumbling for paper/pencil during an emergency.
Rescue Field Guide
Packed with valuable charts, diagrams, and how-to information with customizable notes and favorites.
Emergency Response Guidebook
Have the hazardous material information in your hand when responding.
Your pocket reference for hydraulics, water delivery, incident response checklist, EMS, training/study guides, and hazmat.
Fire Pump Calculator
Calculation tool for determining discharge pressure for firefighting pumps.
Eloquent and thorough phrasebook is like having a personal interpreter on call 24/7 in your pocket for a price less than a burrito
Listen to thousands of live police, fire, EMS, railroad, air traffic, NOAA weather, coast guard, and other emergency frequencies.
Fire Truck Lite
The "Fire Truck" puzzle is a variation of a classic block sliding game that has been played in many countries for over 100 years.
ShiftPro is a Firefighter shift calendar and a shift trade monitor developed by a firefighter for firefighters.
What's New at IAFF 2546
Political Sign Volunteers:
Thanks for all your enthusiasm and hard work! Remember, when placing signs make sure that they are located on the designated property and not in the County right-of-way. If you have any questions when putting signs up, call your DVP or the candidate's representative for advice.
The following candidates have asked if our members would be on the lookout for improperly placed signs and either collect or reposition them as needed:
Stephen R. Deutsch - Charlotte County Commissioner - District 4
(This list will be updated as candidates request to be added)Services Set for Slain Fireman
Lt. Sam P. Dreher II is not alone. Charlotte County firefighters are taking turns standing guard over Dreher’s body. Charlotte County Fire/EMS spokeswoman Dee Hawkins said they will continue to stand beside Dreher until his burial Saturday.
Dreher, 39, was shot outside a Sarasota apartment Saturday by his estranged wife’s boyfriend, Michael Minor, 27, authorities have said. Dreher died from his injuries Sunday.
The 18-year veteran of Charlotte County Fire/EMS will be remembered at a visitation today from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Larry Taylor Funeral Home, 1515 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda.
A service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center in Punta Gorda. Burial will follow at Charlotte Memorial Gardens, where Dreher’s father is buried, said Taylor.
The Charlotte County Fire/EMS Honor Guard will be present at the service Saturday, along with honor guards from other agencies, Hawkins said.
The sudden, shocking death of Dreher — known as Sammy — has greatly affected his fellow firefighters and paramedics.
“We’re just taking care of each other, checking on each other,” Hawkins said.
Dreher’s Battalion Chief, Jon Miller, has “shown a tremendous amount of support,” Hawkins said, as have Battalion Chiefs Mark Crigler and James Stillwagon.
“Everybody’s suffering the loss,” Hawkins said. “Everyone’s feeling the pain.”
Critical incident stress management teams are working with crews at each of the fire stations across Charlotte County, Hawkins said.
“We’ll get through this as a group together,” Hawkins said. “Sammy was such a wonderful person.”
Dreher, a North Port resident and a graduate of Charlotte High School, worked as a firefighter and paramedic, in addition to serving on the Marine Operations Team. He also worked for the Punta Gorda Fire Department prior to Charlotte County Fire/EMS.
Memorial donations in Dreher’s honor can be made at any Sun Trust Bank to Firefighters for Kids of Charlotte County.
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