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Palm Coast Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017 2 months ago

NEWS BRIEFS: Two local firefighters deployed to fight wildfires in Oregon

Also in News Briefs: City of Palm Coast Finance Department wins national budget award

Two members of Flagler County Fire Rescue left to central Oregon Aug. 10 to help firefighters there battle raging wildfires, according to a news release from the Flagler County government.

“This is why we train – to protect lives and property by being ready to face any situation,” Fire Rescue Chief Don Petito said in the news release. “These firefighters are part of another specialized team with highly motivated members who are sought after to help people.”

It will be the fifth time Ronald Titus, 32, has answered the call to fight wildfires in the western United States, and his first stint as a “squad boss.” He will be traveling with Firefighter Justin Thomas, 29, who is mobilizing for the first time. The men will work together as members of the same team.

“I’m a little nervous, because this is my first leadership opportunity,” Titus said, noting he has fought western wildfires in California, Idaho, and Washington State, as well as Oregon. “I’m glad Justin will be on my team. It will be good for him because it is his first out-of-state trip.”

Both men worked together in Volusia County before Flagler County. Titus has worked for Flagler County Fire Rescue since 2011 and Thomas since December 2014.

“I know he’s stoked,” Titus said of Thomas. “The best advice I can give him is to keep his ears open and ask questions.”

Deployments are typically 17 to 21 days. Titus and Thomas will receive specifics about their detail when they arrive at the mobilization center in Redmond.

Titus and Thomas are both married with families in Flagler County.

“My wife is supportive,” Thomas said, who was notified Tuesday by the Florida Forest Service about the deployment.

Titus looks forward to expanding his experience and horizons.

“It’s the kind of firefighting I like to do,” Titus said. “I also like having the opportunity to travel places I might not otherwise have a chance to see.”


City of Palm Coast Finance Department wins national budget award

The city of Palm Coast has received the Government Finance Officers Association's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its annual budget for the 14th consecutive year, according to a city of Palm Coast news release.

To receive the budget award, the city was required to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity's budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.

Budget documents must be rated "proficient" in all four categories. The city received outstanding ratings in the areas of Understandability and Usability, Long-range Financial Planning, Unit Goals, Objectives and Performance Measures, Financial Structure, Policy and Process and overall as a communications device. As part of the award, a Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation was also presented to Palm Coast Budget Coordinator Lina Williams.

The budget book can be reviewed online at



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