Your Life Matters

The your Life Matters Project and Drug Free Manatee’s Addictions Crisis Taskforce has produced a series of inspiration stories “Now is the time, Your Life Matters.”  By clicking in the picture above you will be directed to the your life matters project page, and you can view these inspirational stories featuring the journey of four local people in recovery who want to encourage those suffering from a substance use disorder to seek treatment

The Bradenton Times

Progress on the Front Lines of the Opioid Crisis

 by:  Dennis Maley

Apr 29, 2018

You can read the story by clicking on the link below:

Good Samaritan Card 3_Page_2

Congressman Vern Buchanan presents Firefighter Mike Dunn the Congressional Preservation of Life Award

Congressman Vern Buchanan presents Firefighter Mike Dunn the Congressional Preservation of Life Award

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan honors Cedar Hammock Firefighter Mike Dunn

Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, honored the winners of the 16th Congressional District Fire and Rescue and Emergency Medical Services Awards on Monday, October 5, 2015.

Buchanan established the awards to recognize fire and rescue and EMS personnel who have provided distinguished service.

“As first responders, fire departments and emergency medical service teams are summoned on short notice to serve their respective communities,” Buchanan said. “Oftentimes, they arrive at scenes of great adversity and trauma, to which they reliably bring strength and composure. These brave men and women spend hundreds of hours in training so that they are prepared when they get `the call.’ I believe these awards are a fitting tribute to our first responders and a reminder of the important role they play in our communities.”

Among the winners was Mike Dunn, a firefighter with Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue who developed the Your Life Matters card that first responders keep on hand to give to addicts after they recover from an overdose. Heroin overdoses have been particularly prevalent as deaths continue to climb. Dunn has said he had the idea for the cards because he wanted to offer addicts information about where they could get help.

Mike Dunn was presented the Preservation of Life Award.



Published June 2015 in the Florida Fire Service Magazine

In A Florida County, Overdose Epidemic Is ‘More Like A War’

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.
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

Thanks to Manatee County Fire Commission for contribution to drug overdose prevention
May 14, 2015
The Manatee County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition wishes to thank the Manatee County Fire Commissioners’ Association for their generous donation of $500.
This contribution will allow for a greater distribution of Your Life Matters cards to individuals who experience an overdose in Manatee County.
The card was developed by local Firefighter Michael Dunn of the Cedar Hammock Fire District and lists local resources to assist those struggling with substance abuse.
When individuals care enough to go above and beyond, it fosters community engagement. This in turn creates partnerships that ultimately lead to the changes we want to see in our community.
We are so thankful for this donation and hope it helps to save even just one life in our beautiful county!
Jessica Spencer, Ed.D, Project Director Bradenton