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2022 Firefighter of the Year: Conner Wright


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2022 FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR:  Conner Wright

The East Lake Fire rescue Firefighter of the year began in 1989.  This award is to recognize a department member who has gone above and beyond in education, who has taken initiative in assisting others, possesses a positive attitude, takes on extra projects, and their performance and experience have flourished with our department.

Hired in August of 2019, Conner was asked by then fire chief Tom Jamison to develop an Individual Development Plan for 1, 3, and 10 years.  Conner stated:

“My 3-year goal is to take all classes and complete all training to become a ride up driver (acting driver) and become eligible for promotion to the driver engineer position”.

·        October 2020 Received his State of Florida Pump Operator certificate.

·        April 2021, I received an email from Division Chief Doug Stryjewski stating the Conner had finished the acting driver program and was ready to drive for East Lake.

·        In May of 2022, Conner and his crew received a commendation from PCEMS for a cardiac arrest resuscitation.

·        June of 2022, Conner received a PEER recognition award for his work ai assisting Chief McLain in implementing the PSTRAX program.

·        In September of 2022 Conner received his Certificate of Compliance from the State of Florida for Fire Safety Inspector I.

·        In January of 2023, Conner received his State Fire Office I and II.

·        In March of 2023 Conner was cleared for acting lieutenant status.

·        In March of 2023 Conner went to the Emergency Management Institute and attended the National Emergency Management Basic Academy, along with assisting me with working with Pinellas County Emergency Management.

It is easy to say that Conner has met his goals and then some.

Please join me in congratulating Conner Wright 2022 Firefighter of the year.


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2021 Firefighter of the Year: Jeff Jackson

It is with great pleasure that East Lake Tarpon Special Fire Control District recognizes Driver Engineer Jeff Jackson as the 2021 Firefighter of the Year.  Driver Engineer Jackson has a great attitude and is always quick to lend a hand whenever he is able to. He is an extremely hard worker and his dedication to our department; our members and our community is exemplary.

Jackson is very involved within our department and is a leading member of multiple committees.  He was the chairperson for the truck committee and completed extensive research for our latest departmental engine purchase. Driver Engineer Jackson is also a member of the pension board and led the charge for the increase in the firefighter’s pension multiplier from 3% to 4%.  In addition, Driver Engineer Jackson is an instructor for North County Training and has dedicated numerous hours to assist other firefighters obtain their required training hours.  Aside from teaching classes, Driver Engineer Jackson consistently registers for classes to further his own education and to improve his performance as a firefighter.

Prior to joining our department, Driver Engineer Jackson served Citrus Sheriff Fire Rescue for 1.5 years as a Driver Engineer and before that, he worked at Morton Plant North Bay Hospital as a Patient Care Technician as a Patient Care Technician.

Please help us congratulate Driver Engineer Jeff Jackson, his wife, Ashley Jackson and their daughter Tegan.

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photo of LT Mormando

2020 Firefighter of the Year: Devin Mormando

It is with great pleasure that East Lake Tarpon Special Fire Control District recognizes Lieutenant Devin Mormando as the 2020 Firefighter of the Year.

Lieutenant Mormando has been a full-time employee at East Lake Fire Rescue since October 2015 and is known for his high standard of performance and thoroughness. Lieutenant Mormando has a passion for the fire service profession and serving the community. Not only is he a full-time firefighter at East Lake Fire Rescue, but he is also a registered nurse who works in the emergency room serving people who are sick and injured on his days off. Lieutenant Mormando is well known throughout the department for his tenacity going the extra mile to ensure each process is completed the right way and thoroughness making sure department tasks are completed with proper attention to detail and in a timely fashion. Lieutenant Mormando is highly respected by his peers and appreciated by his officers. The combination of his high-performance standards and attention to detail enables him to be an excellent mentor to our new firefighters and drivers. He is highly respected by those with whom he meets and is an exemplary role model to others in the department as well as other firefighters in Pinellas County.



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2019 Firefighter of the Year: Jason Letzring

East Lake Fire Rescue is proud to announce Jason Letzring as 2019 Firefighter of the Year. Lieutenant Jason Letzring. LT Letzring has continued his education obtaining his AA Degree, Fire Officer 3, and Fire Inspector Certification. He always has a positive attitude and volunteers to take on extra tasks without being asked. Acts of kindness do not go unnoticed with LT Letzring whether he is on or off duty, he volunteers his time to help others whenever it is needed. Last year he volunteered to gather his crew and dropped off Christmas presents to a family in need. He took it upon himself to make many phone calls when our 5k had to get rescheduled and was a huge help with our Santa program; he even donated Christmas tree decorations for the station to use during our annual holiday party. These are just a few of the many examples of the “above and beyond” attitude LT Letzring holds.  He is a true role model and is an excellent example of what a leader should be. East Lake Fire Rescue is happy to award Lieutenant Jason Letzring as Firefighter of the year for 2019!

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2018 Firefighter of the Year: Amanda Torok

East Lake Fire Rescue is proud to announce Amanda Torok as 2018 Firefighter of the Year.  Driver Engineer Amanda Torok was nominated by Firefighters from East Lake Fire Rescue to receive this prestigious award to recognize her constant positive attitude and enthusiasm, for going above and beyond to help junior drivers in achieving their goals, for always being eager to assist others and for working devotedly towards her continuing education. Thank you for all you do DE Torok, congratulations!

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2017 Firefighter of the Year: Matt Wirth

East Lake Fire Rescue is proud to announce Matt Wirth as their 2017 Firefighter of the Year.  Matt Wirth, who was recently promoted to Driver Engineer, provided the department with significant work as the chairman of the hiring committee, obtained multiple firefighting certificates over the past year and became a certified IAFF Peer Fitness Trainer, taking the lead for fitness improvement for the department.  Furthermore, Driver Engineer Wirth completed an exceptional job during a multi-family dwelling fire in which he extinguished a fire on the third floor preventing the fire from extending into the attic.  If the fire had reached the attic, twelve families would have been displaced and thousands of dollars of damages would have occurred.  Congratulations Matt Wirth.

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2016 Firefighter of the Year: Kenny Lane

East Lake Fire Rescue is proud to announce Kenny Lane as their 2016 Firefighter of the Year.  Kenny Lane, who was recently promoted to Driver Engineer, has been a Firefighter Paramedic with East Lake Fire Rescue since March of 2010.  Lane came to East Lake Fire Rescue after serving in Marion County Fire Rescue for 6 years.  
Kenny Lane is actively engaged in several aspects of our organization including the Water Extrication Team, AHA instructor for Healthcare Provider, ACLS and PALS, the hiring committee, and acting lieutenant. 
At a recent incident, East Lake Fire Rescue responded for a victim pinned under the water by a commercial lawn mower.  Arriving crews saw no sign of the mower or the victim.  Kenny Lane, an East Lake Fire Rescue rapid diver, entered the zero visibility water, located the victim, and lifted the mower within four minutes.  The victim was removed from the water and transported to a local Hospital with a return of spontaneous respirations.
Kenny  Lane is a great asset to our team.  The department would like to congratulate Kenny Lane, his wife Lindsey Lane and their soon to be born baby girl Ella Grace Lane.

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2015 Firefighter of the Year: Danny Weber

East Lake Fire Rescue (ELFR) named Danny Weber as district’s firefighter of the year for 2015.   Weber also received the Morroni Award as Pinellas County Firefighter of the year.  He received these awards due to his heroic actions while on duty June 12, 2015, when a Tampa Bay woman lost control of her car and drove straight into a pond.  When ELFR arrived on the scene of the accident, Weber jumped into the pond without hesitation and made his way to the victim’s vehicle.  Weber used a glass-breaking tool on the driver’s window and pulled the victim out of the sinking vehicle.


2014 Firefighter of the Year:  Michael Porch

2013 Firefighter of the Year:  Greg Godwin

2012 Firefighter of the Year: James Dalrymple

2011 Firefighter of the Year:  Jason Gennaro

2010 Firefighter of the Year: Doug Stryjewski

2009 Firefighter of the Year:  Robert Sullivan

2008 Firefighter of the Year:  Howard Walker

2007 Firefighter of the Year: Jason Gennaro

2006 Firefighter of the Year:  Gary Hurlbut

2005 Firefighter of the Year: Doug Stryjewski

2004 Firefighter of the Year: Tom May and Gary Wilson

2003 Firefighter of the Year: Scott McLain and Mark Teolis

2002 Firefighter of the Year: Mark D. Calderini

2001 Firefighter of the Year: Jeffrey Malzone and James Finley

2000 Firefighter of the Year:  William C. Edling and Charles Coit

1999  Firefighter of the Year: William C. Edling and William L. Walker

1998 Firefighter of the Year: Dennis Hejl and Scott McLain

1997  Firefighter of the Year: David S. Hanney and James Dalrymple

1996  Firefighter of the Year: Thomas May and David Pitts

1995  Firefighter of the Year: Philip Nowlin 

1994  Firefighter of the Year: Al Schaffer

1993  Firefighter of the Year: James J. Gilmore

1992  Firefighter of the Year: Doug Stryjewski

1991  Firefighter of the Year: Steven W. Rogers

1990  Firefighter of the Year: William C. Edling

1989  Firefighter of the Year: David Toney