The Palm Coast Fire Department’s latest acquisition, the second-most substantial firetruck in the city’s fleet, combines versatility in firefighting and life-saving with subtle safety features that diminish firefighters’ exposure to carcinogens, noise and the chance of electrocution. It may also save the county a $1 million expense.
The City of Palm Coast Fire Department is resuming home safety inspections through its community outreach programs after suspending them in 2020 due to Covid-19.
An 18-year effort to get Flagler County to recognize former county firefighter John R. Keppler Jr.’s line-of-duty death in 2002 finally ended Monday evening with the county commission’s decision to rename the fire rescue training facility on Justice Lane after Keppler. But he will still not get benefits owed those who fall in the line of duty.
The program is not in competition with the Fire Academy at Flagler Palm Coast High School, but rather a complement to it: students enrolled in the academy are welcome to apply to be in the fire department’s program as it would provide the natural steps in the progression toward becoming a firefighter.
Even as John Keppler Jr., who died in 2002, has been previously honored by the state, Flagler County refuses to recognize his line-of-duty death–a recognition Keppler has received from two state memorials and one national memorial.
Employees have been aware of Petito’s departure since last week. County Administrator Jerry Cameron gave Petito an ultimatum: retire, resign or be fired. Petito chose to retire. He leaves a department in disarray.
Flagler County Fire Chief Don Petito has had a rocky relationship with County Administrator Jerry Cameron since Hurricane Dorian last year and is now embroiled in serious employment matters.
Homeowners would see a negligible impact on fees despite a proposed 65 percent increase in the one-time levy assessed on a new home, a cost generally folded into the price of that new home. The impact fee is not levied on existing homes.
Flagler County’s emergency and public health officials are preparing for an unprecedented battle on two fronts, with reconfigured shelters and rules but the same stress on compliance with evacuation orders if and when they’re issued, regardless of Covid-19 fears.
The district’s Jason Wheeler sought out graduates of FPC and Matanzas who’d gone on to fill health care and public safety jobs anywhere in the county, the state or the country, and honor them on the district’s Facebook page. There’s been some 200 responses, and counting.