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Palm Coast Monday, Mar. 25, 2019 5 months ago

Your Town: Palm Coast firefighters raise cancer awareness, honoring one of their own

Also in Your Town: Picnic and Pops to return.
by: Paige Wilson Community Editor

Running into burning buildings is not the biggest killer of America’s firefighters; it’s the cancer they get from doing their job, according to a press release from the city of Palm Coast. Firefighters face a 9% higher rate of cancer diagnoses and 14% more in cancer-related deaths compared to the general population in the U.S, the release states.

That sobering statistic has a name and face in the Palm Coast Fire Department. In 2014, Lt. Richard Cline was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer. He had his thyroid gland surgically removed, taking the cancer out and saving his life.

On March 7, Lt. Cline proudly placed his boots on display at the Florida State Capitol to commemorate five years of being cancer free. He was one of many firefighters who journeyed to Tallahassee to participate in the event. In all, 500 pairs of firefighter boots lined the steps to raise awareness on firefighter occupational cancer, honoring those who died, those battling it and those who’ve survived.

The commemoration was concurrent to start of the 2019 Florida Legislative Session where legislation has been proposed to provide workers compensation benefits to firefighters who are diagnosed with cancer. Florida is one of six states without such laws in place.

“We take the concept of cancer prevention serious,” Palm Coast Fire Chief Jerry Forte said in the release. “Our next fire engine scheduled to be delivered this year will embrace the clean cab concept.”


Also in Your Town:

Picnic and Pops returns

The “Symphony in the PCAF Park” with the Jacksonville Symphony will return to Town Center, at the Palm Coast Art Foundation stage, on Sunday April 14. The symphony park, at 1500 Central Ave., opens at 6:30 p.m., with the concert at 8 p.m. Deanna Tham will conduct the symphony. It’s $45 for PCAF members and $50 for general public. Tables of ten can be purchased for $450 for PCAF members and $500 for general public. Bring your own picnic; tables and chairs are provided. For tickets, visit or call 225-4394. The rain date is May 12.


KofC present check to Buddy Walk

Knights of Columbus Star Council 10514 Grand Knight Patrick Mulvihill presented a check to Paula Wilburn to benefit Flagler County residents with down syndrome, according to a press release. The check presentation was a part of the “14th-annual Buddy Walk” held at Matanzas High School on Saturday, March 23. The event was sponsored by the Fun Coast Down Syndrome Association. Those attending the check presentation were: Art Giliberti, Grand Knight Patrick Mulvihill, Paula Wilburn, John Fisher, Tony Gasparino and Dominic Calobrisi.


Citizen’s Academy graduates

Twenty-six Palm Coast residents graduated in March from the Palm Coast Citizen’s Academy. Photo courtesy of the city of Palm Coast

Twenty-six Palm Coast residents graduated in March from the Palm Coast Citizen’s Academy, a comprehensive program designed to educate interested residents about the operation and workings of their city government, according to a press release.

The graduating class — the 45th in the program’s history — spent five weeks learning about city departments and visiting City Hall, the Community Center, main Fire Station 25, Water Treatment Plant No. 3 and Wastewater Treatment Plant 2. The class also attended a Palm Coast City Council meeting together.

This session’s graduates were Rhonda Barner, Walt Barner Jr., Mark Burda, Daniel Cauley, Patricia Cauley, David Chaney, Sarah Chaney, Candace Covey, Joey Covey, Patricia Devoy, Beth Hagan, Louis Hagan, Cecil Hengeveld, Peggy Hengeveld, Joseph LaMacchia, Marilyn Moreira, Connie Orell, Larry Orell, Scott Pearston, Sharon Petty, Lilian Rodriguez, Diane Scarnecchia, Vickie Taylor, Cynthia Turner, Hugh Turner and James Zimmerman.

The Citizen’s Academy meets once a week, usually on Monday evenings, for five straight weeks. The course is free and registration is limited to approximately 30 Palm Coast citizens per session. Registration is now open for two additional sessions this year. Go to and search for “Citizen’s Academy.”

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