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New CHFR Engines 211 and 221

New CHFR Engines 211 and 221




On June 11, 2015, Cedar Hammock Fire Chief Jeffrey S. Hoyle brought on two new firefighters, Erik Lindberg and Wade Hudson at the June Board of Fire Commission meeting.  Firefighter Zeke Eckersen was also honored at the meeting for his 27 years of service with Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue.  Zeke retired May 15, 2015.

Chief Hoyle presented Division Chief Mike DeChelbor with an award for his planning and leadership in the purchase of two new Pierce Impel Engines which were placed in service that evening.  Pastor Stan Pavkovich lead prayers before the two rigs were christened by an exchange of tank water from the replacement engines and both rigs were “pushed” into their bays as tradition warranted.

Other awards presented that evening were for the Engine Specification Committee comprised of Captain Steve LaPlante, Lieutenants Ryan French and Matt Jones, and Firefighters James Taylor and Bobby Wadsworth.

Chief Hoyle also promoted Lieutenant Joe Falcone to Captain and Firefight Ryan French to Lieutenant.

Photos by Tammy Hager


Firefighter Zeke Eckersen and Chief Jeff Hoyle

Firefighter Zeke Eckersen and Chief Jeff Hoyle


Captain Joe Falcone and Family with Chief Jeff Hoyle

Captain Joe Falcone and Family with Chief Jeff Hoyle


Lieutenant Ryan French  and Janice French with Chief Jeff Hoyle

Lieutenant Ryan French and Janice French with Chief Jeff Hoyle


Firefighters Wade Hudson and Erik Lindberg

Firefighters Wade Hudson and Erik Lindberg


Division Chief Mike DeChelbor with Chief Jeff Hoyle

Division Chief Mike DeChelbor with Chief Jeff Hoyle

(L-R) Capt. Steve LaPlante, Lt. Ryan French, FF James Taylor, FF Bobby Wadsowrth with Division Chief Mike DeChelbor

(L-R) Capt. Steve LaPlante, Lt. Ryan French, FF James Taylor, FF Bobby Wadsworth with Division Chief Mike DeChelbor


Blessing of CHFR Engines by Pastor Pavkovich

Blessing of CHFR Engines by Pastor Pavkovich


New CHFR Enginess 211 and 221

New CHFR Enginess 211 and 221









2015 Brotherhood Ride honoring 10 fallen first responders in Florida

By: Krystel Knowles

Posted: 6:53 PM, Jun 7, 2015


The ride will stretch across the state starting in Naples on June 6th and ending in Tallahassee on June 13th. The non-profit Brotherhood organization consists of firefighters, police officers and EMS personnel.

Around 30 cyclist from The Brotherhood Ride 2015 are traveling 650 miles making  overnight stops in North Port, Tarpon Springs, Brooksville, Orlando, Palm Coast, Jacksonville, Live Oak and Tallahassee. These cyclist ride an average of 80 to 100 miles a day, even through tough weather conditions like extreme heat, rain, lightning and high winds.

Lt. Jeff Morse founded The Brotherhood seven years ago, as a way to remember his brothers and sisters who lost their life in the line of duty and to help their families deal with their loss. So far, they’ve donated $248,000 to the families left behind.

“We are here for one reason and one reason only, to honor the people we’ve lost,” said Lt. Morse.

Every year, the procession on cyclist route is changed depending on the Fallen Heroes city and state. Past Brotherhood Rides include Charleston, SC in 2008; Florida in 2009; Houston, TX in 2010; New York City in 2011; Florida in 2012; Tennessee in 2013 and both Florida and Texas in 2014.

Lt. Morse says he’s grateful to ride next to so many inspirational people.

“We couldn’t do this without our fellow firefighters and police officers in the streets keeping us safe as we go down the road,” explains Lt. Morse. “And it’s great to see them alongside of us.”

To help support The Brotherhood go to www.brotherhoodride.com


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PicMonkey Collage





I would like to send out a BIG ” Thank You “ to everyone about my Retirement. You don’t know how much it means to me , every hand shake, and every hug, I will forever cherish!  WOW…. 27 years!  When they say time flies, that is an under statement, but I know that I will always have my Cedar Hammock family and I will always be around. It’s hard to walk away but I’m leaving nothing on the table, I’ve accomplished so many things with C.H.F.R. and very proud of my career.  In closing , my Brothers and Sisters , please be safe and  have NO regrets !!!

With the Best regards, and feeling blessed…

Zeke Eckersen




FF Games Medal






Congratulations to Lt. Mike Soper, Lt. Matt Rose, Firefighter Keith Ferguson, and Firefighter Chad Eibner for representing Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue at the 2015 Florida Firefighter Games mountain bike race!


The event was held at Alafia State Park which has one of the nation’s best mountain bike venues. https://www.imba.com/epics/alafia-river-epic


Team CHFR took second place in the single department relay and 4th overall.  12 other departments participated in this event from across the state.  As this was Lt. Soper, Lt. Rose, and Firefighter Eibner’s first race, the event and placing second added to the accomplishment.


Congratulations to mountain bike veteran Firefighter Ferguson who received a bronze (third) medal in the individual over 40 event!




Commission Meeting April 9, 2015 – Special Presentations/Promotion



Special Recognition to Winn Dixie for their support at our Open House on March 7, 2015.

Pictured:  Fire Marshal Eric Center, Laura Sturdivant and Butch Demont from Winn Dixie, Fire Chief Jeff Hoyle




Special Appreciation to Church on the Cross for their support with our Open House on March 7, 2015.

Pictured:  Fire Marshal Eric Center, Pastor Stan Pavkovich, and Fire Chief Jeff Hoyle.




Congratulations to Randall Fowler on his promotion to Second Class Firefighter.

Pictured;  Battalion Chief Mark Bandstra, Firefighter Randall Fowler, and Fire Chief Jeff Hoyle








MARCH 27, 2015

area Winn-Dixie Nos. 656, 660 and 2404 came together to provide food and drinks for the Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue’s second annual open house event.


Winn-Dixie store Nos. 2404, 656, and 660 in Bradenton, Florida came together to help their local fire department, Cedar Hammock Fire-Rescue, with its second annual open house event.

The fire department welcomed more than 900 people to the firehouse and training center for an informational event for children of local schools and their families.

Laura Sturdivant, director of Winn-Dixie No. 2404, donated food to the fire department for its first open house event while she was at a store where she previously worked, No. 656. When she moved to No. 2404, the fire department came to her again for their second event – but this time she wanted Winn-Dixie to be a bigger participant.

“I developed a good relationship with Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue, so when I moved to a different store, they came back to me,” said Sturdivant. “For this year’s event, I brought in the other area Winn-Dixie stores and we set up tables and cooked the hot dogs ourselves. We had several associates from all three stores help out.”

Flowers Baking Company of Bradenton donated the buns and Frito-Lay contributed chips, Sturdivant said. Winn-Dixie also donated water and Chek Soda. The associates set up a prize wheel with giveaways, including street chalk, Snuggies and duffle bags.

The fire department set up demonstrations with the “jaws of life” and fire hoses, and had a helicopter fly in and land onsite.

This was the first time Winn-Dixie No. 660 Director Butch DeMonte teamed up with Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue, and he hopes to build a stronger relationship.

“Partnerships with local organizations, especially those with a strong focus on community, are very important,” said DeMonte. “When Winn-Dixie shows its support for these organizations and participate in their events, people notice that, and their view of Winn-Dixie is positive as a result.”



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Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue welcomed more than 900 people to their second annual event, where they did several demonstrations, including one with the “jaws of life.”



On June 27, 2014, North River Fire District responded to a call during a severe weather event of a tree collapsed on a structure with one patient trapped.  Technical Rescue Response teams were requested to assist. 5 members of  Manatee County’s Light Technical Rescue Team #644 (members include Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue, West Manatee Fire Rescue and Southern Manatee Fire Rescue) and 3 members of the City of Bradenton’s Light Technical Rescue Team #419 responded.

A tunnel was made into the structure and the patient was found in the center with heavy debris around their head and neck.  It took crews 46 minutes to remove debris, stabilize the structure, and safely remove the patient.  The patient was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.   There were no injuries to rescue personnel.

The Manatee County Fire Chief’s Association awarded Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue Captain Nick Herlihy, Lieutenant Doug Brett and Firefighter Ben Anderson with a Unit Citation Medal for their part in this life saving rescue as members of the Manatee County Light Technical Rescue Team #644.


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MCFCA Award-21

Receiving  Citation Awards:  (L to R)  Captain Nick Herlihy, Lieutenant Doug Brett, and Firefighter Ben Anderson.  Also pictured:  Chief Jeff Hoyle.


Every year the Sons of the American Revolution honors local Emergency Services Personnel who go above and beyond to better the Fire and Emergency Medical Services on the local level. This year Cedar Hammock Firefighter Michael Dunn was honored for his dedication to the citizens of Manatee County with the development of the “Your Life Matters” card. This simple but effective card is given to patients who are dealing with substance abuse issues. The card gives the patient the phone numbers of the local agencies that can help them with their addiction and has garnered interest in places across the country.

DSC_0058 Pictured above:  Battalion Chief Mark Bandstra, Firefighter Michael Dunn and his wife Kristen Dunn


Firefighter Michael Dunn receives NOW Award (Notable Outstanding Work)

In Recognition of the Development of “Your Life Matters” Providing Another Level of Caring Service to Citizens in Our CommunityWho Are Experiencing the Personal Crisis of Addictions

FIREFIGHTER MIKE DUNN RECEIVES AWARDS Pictured above:  Firefighter Michael Dunn being presented his NOW Award by Fire Chief Jeff Hoyle.

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The Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue  2015 Open House  took place on Saturday March 7 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.   Citizens came out to learn about fire safety, better understand the many different services the department offers to the community, and to see some of the day to day operations and equipment used to keep the citizens in our community safe.  The events during the open house included a live fire demonstration, fire sprinkler presentation, Bayflight Trauma Helicopter, vehicle extrication, inflatable fire safety bounce house, junior firefighter combat challenge, bicycle rodeo, and  included many other community participants.  

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Spring Cleaning

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 Firefighter memorial honors those who sacrificed-Firefighter Memorial 5.jpg_20150317.jpg




2014 Awards








IMG Recognizes First Responders

September 12, 2014 IMG Academy hosted a home football game that included a ceremony to honor and recognize First Responders. Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue Training Officer, Captain Nick Herlihy (left) and Deputy Fire Marshal Eric Center (center) received recognition awards. Congratulations guys!








Commission Meeting September 10, 2014 – Special Presentations/Promotion

Mr. Thomas Clifton was presented a Life Saving Award for performing CPR on a cardiac arrest patient prior to the arrival of rescue crews. The patient survived. The event occurred on August 15, 2014.


Firefighter Justin Rudrud was presented a Phoenix Award for his participation in the successful resuscitation of five cardiac arrest patients.


Firefighter John Eibe was promoted to Third Class Firefighter


Barbara Scott and her mother, Elizabeth Scott, were introduced to the Board of Fire Commissioners. Barbara was involved in a vehicle accident in 2010 and is recovering from her injuries. The Scotts thanked the responders previously and presented Cedar Hammock with a gift of their appreciation. Elizabeth Scott is writing a book detailing the event and recovery of her daughter.



Arriving to School Safely 


Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue assisted with ensuring local children arrived safe to school as Manatee County 2014-/2015 school year began the week of August 18. Engine companies stood by at several elementary and middle schools in the District for three shifts. Pictured above L to R Lieutenant Mike Soper and Firefighters Jason Moore and Mike Dunn from Engine Company 241.


Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue Assists Church of the Cross with the 2014 Students for Success Program

Cedar Hammock personnel assisted Pastor Stan Pavkovich and his congregation at the Church of the Cross with the distribution of over 700 school backpacks and supplies for children in need. Two Engine Companies helped distribute these items at Bayshore Elementary School on August 13 and 14. Cedar Hammock personnel donated $690 to this worthwhile event.


Pictured above L to R: Lieutenant Brett, Firefighters Moore and Childress


CHFR Commission Meeting – June 12, 2014


Chief Hoyle recognized Firefighter Aron Kaloostian for promoting to 3rd Class Firefighter. Congratulations Aron!!!






Cedar Hammock Commission Meeting, May 8, 2014



CHFR Participates in the Annual Hernando De Soto Parade April 26, 2014


CHFR Open House April 12, 2014

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CHFR Commission Meeting – March 13, 2014 DSC_0073

Chief Hoyle recognized Firefighter Randall Fowler for promoting to 3rd Class Firefighter. Congratulations Randall!






Cedar Hammock Awards Presentations February 13, 2014

Fire Chief Jeff Hoyle presented Sharon Parker a recognition award for her 21 years at CHFR. Sharon retired December 2013. She served the District from 1992-2013. Thank you very much for your service and enjoy your retirement!

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Chief Hoyle also recognized Firefighter Nate Axness for achieving the rank of 3rd Class Firefighter. Nate joined the department in 2013. Great job Nate!


Church of the Cross and Cedar Hammock Adopt-a-Family 2013

Chief Hoyle and Pastor Stan Pavkovich introduced the family our agencies were blessed to assist during the holidays.

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iPromise Poster #3

Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue 2014 Awards



Board of Commissioners Meeting August 8, 2013


Board of Commissioners Meeting – June 27, 2013





Firefighter John Leydon Retires after 21 Years with Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue

Division Chief Dan Center Retires after 30 Years with Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue

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At the recent CHFR Board of Commissioners Meeting, February 14, 2013, Nathan Axness (left) and Garrett Lindgren (right) were sworn in as CHFR’s newest Firefighters. Welcome to the family!

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Axness and Lindgren swearing in. Years of Service Awards.

Most impressive, were the Years of Service Awards given: Training Officer Leigh Hollins – 35 years, Battalion Chief Sam Collier – 30 years, Battalion Chief Alex Lobeto – 25 years, Captain Mark Bandstra – 25 years, Inspector Diane Chrzanowski – 25 years, Lieutenant Brett Pritchard – 20 years, Administrative Assistant Sharon Parker – 20 years, Firefighter Eddie Anderson – 15 years, Firefighter Mike Sheets – 15 years, Firefighter Ryan French – 10 years, Firefighter Lenny Furst – 10 years, Firefighter Nick Lynch – 5 years and Firefighter James Taylor – 5 years.


At the recent CHFR Board of Commissioners Meeting held January 10, 2013, Fire Chief Randall Stulce (right) presented Lieutenant Nick Herlihy (left) the Phoenix Award for his involvement in the successful recovery of five cardiac patients.

Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue presented its 2012 awards Friday, December 7th at its annual Appreciation Dinner. The following personnel were celebrated:

A Shift Firefighter of the Year – First Class Firefighter John Leydon

B-Shift Firefighter of the Year – First Class Firefighter Andrew Dudley

C-Shift Firefighter of the Year – First Class Firefighter Eddie Anderson

Officer of the Year – Lieutenant Nick Herlihy

Staff Employee of the Year – Bookkeeper Denise McCaughan

Exceptional Duty Award – Division Chief Daniel Center

Congratulations Everyone!

October 3, 2012, Cedar Hammock Fire crews were dispatched for an overturned crane. This crane boom could not have landed in a better spot: wires to the right and a strip mall far right, to the left a classroom full of students and their teacher. Very close call!

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