Fort Lauderdale (FL) Fire-Rescue Awarded 2010 Florida Beach Patrol of the Year

By Assistant Fire Chief John Molenda
Fort Lauderdale (FL) Ocean Rescue (FLOR) has been awarded the 2010 Beach Patrol of the Year, the most prestigious award given by The Florida Beach Patrol Chief’s Association. This honor is bestowed only to the best agencies in the industry and places that agency in an elite class with respect to the service it provides to its citizens.
The Florida Beach Patrol Chief’s Association (FBPCA) was organized in 1983 and is comprised of all of the division heads of Ocean Rescue Agencies across the state of Florida. The primary function of these Ocean Rescue Chiefs and Captains is to promote water safety to the beach going public. This is primarily achieved through public education and lifeguard competitions held throughout the year.
There are many distinguishing features that result in this award for FLOR and several of these accomplishments include increasing the number of EMTs and Paramedics to 55 and 14 respectively. FLOR also boasts three junior lifeguard programs, including The Junior Lifeguard Competition Clinic One, which was featured in a reality television show in Ireland called “Mission Beach”.
The year 2010 brought 3,422,850 visitors to Fort Lauderdale beach, of which 348 were rescued from dangerous rip currents. There were also 22,050 preventative actions as a result of lifeguard intervention. These interventions are a result of lifeguards recognizing potential hazardous situations and directing the public out of harms way before an actual rescue is needed.
If should also be noted that Fort Lauderdale Ocean Rescue Chief Breck Ballou was nominated and elected to the office of President of the FBPCA.

Chief Ballou has been with FLOR since 1985. In 1991 Chief Ballou was promoted to the Ocean Rescue Lieutenant’s position and was promoted to Chief of Ocean Rescue in 2004.

Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue is very proud of its Ocean Rescue Division. The integration of the fire department and beach patrol has been very successful with regard to medical treatment, training, and budgetary reductions. Congratulations to Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue Ocean Rescue on winning the 2010 Florida Beach Patrol of the Year Award!

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