Whats Happening

Firefighters Receive Awards and Recognition for Achievement and Service Above and Beyond

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 3:20 PM
Chief Gene Prince delivered awards and recognition to more than a dozen firefighters and paramedics last week. Nine personnel also received promotions from firefighter to driver operators.

The recognition was for Paramedic Firefighter of the year, Fire Officer of the Year, Unit Citation for exceptional service and recognition for personal achievement. Among the award recipients was Nick Slaughter, was who named Cocoa Fire Department’s 2015 Firefighter of the Year. Chief Prince remarked Slaughter was deserving of the award for his extremely hard work ethic and dedication to the department and the citizens of Cocoa. Prince noted several occurrences where Firefighter Slaughter worked on his own time to improve the safety and efficiency of the department through researching and executing new equipment features, making repairs outside his normal duties and saving the city money by finding ways to integrate new tools and use them more efficiently. “Firefighter Slaughter performs above and beyond the call of duty every day,” Chief Prince stated. “Whether it is a fire or rescue call, or just finding ways to make things work better, the City of Cocoa is fortunate to have him.”

Chief Prince also recognized outstanding service and team work during a structure fire in which the responding unit attempted to rescue a male victim. The fired occurred on December 3rd on Nomad St. Responding personnel forced entry into the rear of the burning structure and pulled the victim out. The crews immediately began to render aid to the victim including CPR, but he had already succumbed to the heat and smoke from the fire. “While the victim in this case did not survive, this team gave a valiant effort and displayed a high regard for team effort under combat conditions,” Chief Prince said. “This exemplifies the department’s mission to protect life and property and their efforts are commendable.”

Other awards and recognition included the following:
Achievement Awards:
  • Luis Justiniano, Fire Officer II and associate degree in Emergency Medical Services with honors.
  • Alan Clark, bachelor’s degree in Public Safety Administration
Fire Chief’s Award of Excellence:
  • Edward Bragg, Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus Program
  • Josh Vandegrift, Personal Protective Equipment Program
Space Coast Fire Chief’s Association:
  • Nick Slaughter, Paramedic Firefighter of the Year
  • Lt. Mark Silverman, Fire Officer of the Year
Unit Citation:
  • District Chief David Rocque
  • Lt. Mark Silverman
  • Driver Operator Edward Bragg
  • Firefighter Jamie Makuch
  • Lt. Bruce Hutchinson
  • Firefighter Eric Holt
  • Firefighter Alex Canderlario
Promotion to Driver Operator:
  • Charles Burkhardt
  • Allen Clark
  • Edward Bragg
  • Luis Justiniano
  • Stephen Register
  • Nick Slaughter
  • Matthew Holiday
  • Mathew Houyouse
  • Patrick Madden
Firefighter of the Quarther (October-December 2015)
  • Edward Bragg
Firefighter of the Quarther (January-March 2016)
  • Ryan Barton
Firefighter of the Year 2015:
  • Nick Slaughter
The Cocoa Fire Department currently employs 44 certified firefighter/EMT’s and 1 civilian.

2015 Firefighter of the Year

Nick Slaughter

Officer of the Quarter (October- December 2015)

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Edward Bragg with Chief Gene Prince (left) and Deputy Chief Jonathan Lamm (right)

Firefighter of the Quarter (January - March 2016

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Ryan Barton with Chief Gene Prince and Deputy Chief Jonathan Lamm
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015 11:02 a.m.
Cocoa firefighters and a working smoke alarm saved six people from an early morning house fire Tuesday. At approximately 6 a.m. Cocoa Fire Rescue responded to the 1500 block of Cambridge Drive for a reported house fire. When firefighters arrived within four minutes they reported smoke coming from the windows and front door of the single family home. Six adults were awakened by the smoke alarm and had safely evacuated the house. In less than 10 minutes, firefighters stopped the fire from spreading. It was contained to the kitchen area over the stove which is believed to be the point of origin. The damage is estimated at approximately $15,000. The Space Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting the family which is temporarily displaced as a result of the fire. “The family is fortunate there were working smoke alarms in the home,” said Fire Chief Gene Prince. “This is another example of how working smoke alarms save lives.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Working smoke alarms provide a critical early warning of fire, allowing additional time to escape. “We want to encourage our residents to check the batteries in their smoke alarms and make sure they are working,” Chief Prince added. “If they need assistance they can always contact us.”

Cocoa Fire Department's new "A" Shift District Chief

A Shift
District Chief Brad Hall with the men and women of "A" shift Cocoa Fire Departments "A" shift welcomes District Chief Brad Hall to the department.

Cocoa FIre Departments newest Firefighters

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Firefighters Sam Steele, Danielle Baratta and Alex Candelario On Friday March 20th Cocoa Fire Department three new firefighters were sworn in by Fire Chief Gene Prince where they received their department badges and shift assignments. The Department established a hiring list in October last year with the City of Rockledge and Cocoa Beach. The three firefighters were selected from that hiring list by an interview panel made up of CFD personnel who screened ten hiring candidates. Firefighters Sam Steele, Danielle Baratta and Alex Candelario spent two weeks in an intense orientation process led by Lt. Mark Silverman who stated that the three new firefighters received training in specific CFD procedures and equipment as well as firefighter safety and survival techniques. The three new firefighters will fill open positions created through normal attrition and promotions.