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Memorial Service Will Honor Florida Firefighters Who Died Last Year in the Line of Duty


OCALA - On Saturday, firefighters from around the state will gather in Ocala to memorialize three Florida firefighters who died last year from injuries sustained in the line of duty. Their names will be added to a Florida Fallen Firefighter Memorial that includes the names of 112 others who also have died while on duty going back as far as 1885.

The three firefighters who will be honored are Maurice Bartholemew, a Pensacola Fire Department firefighter who died in a house fire; George Burton, a Florida Division of Forestry helicopter pilot who died in a helicopter crash while fighting a wildfire; and Michael Yahraus, a Sarasota County Fire Department paramedic who died during a training exercise.

The memorial service will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a prayer breakfast that will include remarks from State Fire Marshal Tom Gallagher as well comments from Bob Carver, chairman of the Joint Council of Fire and Emergency Services, and Jim Alaniz, assistant field vice president of Allstate Insurance Company. Allstate is sponsoring this year's service.

Following the prayer breakfast, the Statewide Honor Guard will lead the families of the three fallen firefighters out to the courtyard where the ceremony will continue at the Fallen Firefighter Memorial.

This is the 10th year of this service, which always comes at the end of Florida's participation in National Fire Prevention Week.

Florida Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service
8:30 a.m., Saturday, October 13, 2001
Florida State Fire College
11655 N.W. Gainesville Road
Ocala, Florida