New Firefighters Sworn Into Palm Bay Fire Rescue
By Space Coast Daily // November 21, 2013
Chief Stables presents new hires, promotions
BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY FLORIDA — Four new firefighters accepted the oath of office to serve as members of the Palm Bay Fire Rescue department and nine others accepted new leadership positions within the agency.
Chief Jim Stables presented the new hires and promotions at the regular meeting of the Palm Bay City Council held on Tuesday. The promotions include five new driver/engineers: Jason Smith, Sean Emerson, Mike McHale, Mark Barwick and Clayton Hanks.
Two members of the department were promoted to Lieutenant; Charles Rogers and Brian Gent. Coy Chapel was promoted to Captain and Keith Grice promoted to Battalion Chief.
NEW FIREFIGHTERS SWORN IN
· Jessie Almeida: Hired in August from the Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce area
· Ignacio Cano: Hired in August from the Miami area
· Steve Worthington: Former Palm Bay Utilities employee hired in August after completing certification and training to become firefighter.
· William Dietz: Former U.S. Army combat engineer hired in October.
PALM BAY FIRE RESCUE PROMOTIONS
• Batt. Chief Keith Grice came to Palm Bay in 1987 and, after a few years, decided to go on to greener pastures. But he quickly discovered his true passion was to work for Palm Bay, so he returned and has now served over 25 years with the Department. He was promoted to driver/engineer in December of 1993 and to Lt. in October of 1995. As a driver and lieutenant, he trained a number of firefighters to be paramedics. He was next promoted to captain in August of 2008 and will now serve as battalion chief.
• Capt. Coy Chapel began his career with Palm Bay in 1988, quickly rising through the ranks to be promoted to the rank of driver/engineer in September of 1990, then to lieutenant in 1993. He has also served as a paramedic and trained many firefighters to become certified. He is a 25-year veteran of the department.
• Lt. Charles Rogers, who has 10 years in the fire service, came to Palm Bay Fire-Rescue 6 years ago. He was promoted to driver/engineer in June of 2010 and now serves as lieutenant.
• Lt. Brian Gent came to Palm Bay Fire Rescue 11 years ago, and became eligible to serve as a driver/engineer in 2009. He was quickly promoted to drive/engineer in March of 2011. Brian, who serves on the executive board of the IAFF Local 2446, now serves as lieutenant.
• Jason Smith, who has been with Palm Bay Fire-Rescue for 12 years and is a new father, is one of two fire-rescue employees that work as flight medics with First Flight. Jason has been a paramedic for 10 years, training a number of fire personnel. He now serves in the position of driver/engineer.
• Mark Barwick has been with this department for 26 years. He spent eight of those years managing the department’s apparatus. He successfully completed paramedic school and is now certified to perform those duties. Barwick is now training the next generation of medics and is now serving as driver/engineer.
• Mike McHale has served 7 years with Palm Bay. He quickly fit in to the firefighting routine and began studying for the driver’s test. McHale now serves as driver engineer Sean Emerson, firefighter for 9 years, paramedic for 4 of those years, is now training others to become paramedics. He now serves as driver/engineer.
• Clayton Hanks, son of our retired Asst. Chief Dave Hanks, was promoted to driver/engineer. He has been with this department for more than 15 years.