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Florida house recognizes 80 years of Florida Professional Firefighters

January 24, 2024
Palm Beach Florida fire station

The Florida House of Representatives recently passed a resolution commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Florida Professional Firefighters Association (FPF).

This milestone highlights the organization’s longstanding commitment to representing firefighters and advocating for public safety in Florida.

House resolution celebrates FPF’s legacy

The resolution acknowledged the FPF’s efforts in advocating for the well-being of both its members and all Floridians.

It also recognized the significant contributions of the organization and its members to Florida’s growth and prosperity.

Leaders’ perspectives on the anniversary

Walt Dix, 12th District Vice President, expressed his admiration for the organization: “This remarkable milestone signifies the enduring commitment of a labor organization devoted to representing firefighters.

“We applaud the courageous individuals who took the initiative to establish this outstanding organization.”

General President Edward Kelly also commended the FPF on its 80 years of success, stating: “The FPF has grown tremendously since 1944, and in that time, they’ve strengthened the voice of firefighters and emergency medical workers in Tallahassee and across Florida.

“Through their savvy politics, they’ve set the bar for firefighters in a Right to Work state.

“We’re grateful for their strong work and look forward to their continued success.”

Wayne “Bernie” Bernoska, FPF president, emphasized the importance of honoring the organization’s past while looking to the future: “What we wanted to do in our celebration of 80 years is to honor the pioneers who paved the way.”

Bernoska reflected on the organization’s evolution and its commitment to bettering the future for the next generation of firefighters.

He highlighted the FPF’s achievements, including securing the right to collective bargaining and advocating for cancer coverage for firefighters.

The evolution of the FPF

The FPF was officially recognized by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) on January 11, 1944, starting with six locals in various Florida cities.

Today, the organization represents over 28,100 members across the state, encompassing 150 locals.

FSJA Comment

The 80th anniversary of the Florida Professional Firefighters marks a significant moment in the history of firefighter representation and advocacy in Florida.

This milestone not only celebrates the past achievements of the FPF but also sets a foundation for future endeavors in improving the conditions and safety of firefighters and the communities they serve.

The recognition by the Florida House underscores the importance of such organizations in shaping policies and ensuring the welfare of those on the front lines of public safety.

As the FPF continues to evolve and adapt to new challenges, its role in representing and advocating for firefighters remains as crucial as ever.

This anniversary serves as a reminder of the continuous efforts required to maintain and improve the standards of safety and well-being for both firefighters and the broader public.

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