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Public Educator Retires after 31 Years

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

Public Education Officer Robert Bertone has retired from the Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department after more than 31 years of service to his community.   Bob began his career in 1991 as a volunteer firefighter.  Throughout his career, Bob has served as a fire inspector, driver engineer, chief training officer, emergency management and planning chief, public education officer, and grant coordinator.  Bob is a nationally certified incident safety officer, fire officer, fire inspector, search and rescue technician, Paramedic, fire instructor, fire and life safety educator, and terrorism liaison officer and instructor.   

When Bob was the chief of training, he helped facilitate the Coral Springs Regional Institute of Public Safety attain its first ever Florida Fire Service Training and Education Provider of the Year, one of four since its opening.  Bob has been deployed to multiple disasters as a member of the Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT).  Bob has been the driving force behind the employee recognition committee and review of our employee SOP's related to recognition.  

One of Bob's most recognizable accomplishments is that of his involvement in the Safety Town program.  Bob has educated tens-of-thousands of kids who have come through Safety Town, many of which remember those safety lessons to this day.  Bob has been instrumental in school safety visits, station tours, and special safety education events.  His passion for education and helping others has resulted in multiple letters over the years from residents who have commended him not just for his knowledge, and ability to share it, but for the thorough comprehensive presentation he provides with everything from car seat installations to safe sleep practices for infants.

Throughout his tenure, Bob has earned six (6) Unit Citations, three (3) Lifesaving commendations, one (1) Meritorious Duty Commendation, one (1) Community Involvement Award, one (1) Administrative Commendation, five (5) Team Citations, sixteen (16) Technical Rescue Commendations, and was chosen Firefighter of the Year in 1995.  Bob has also been recognized formally by many organizations throughout the years, including the Florida Fire and Life Safety Educator of the Year, and the FCABC Ed Murray Public Educator of the Year, both in 2015.

We are proud to showcase his accomplishments and wish him the best in his retirement.

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MICHAEL MOSERCorrespondent

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