VETERAN CHIEF IS “WHEELS UP” FROM THE AIRPORT

January 7, 2008

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On December 31, 2007, Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Steven Dersham was honored for his 30 years of dedicated service to the residents and visitors of Broward County at Fire Station 10, located on the grounds of Ft. Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport (FLHIA). Chief of Department Joseph R. Lello escorted Chief Dersham for the final walk by and inspection of uniformed personnel. Dersham was presented with his retirement badge, helmet and “rang in” his retirement on the fire bell with eight rings with the Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Honor Guard present.

Chief Dersham’s fire service career began in 1968 with the United States Coast Guard at Cape May, New Jersey and took him down the east coast where he has been for the last 30 years at Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Station 10 at FLHIA. Chief Dersham’s last day “on the job” was January 2, 2008. He had served in command of the Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) operations of BSO. He started his ARFF assignment in 1978, when the fire station was part of the Broward County Aviation Department. In the early 1980’s, the fire station merged into then-Broward County Fire Department, which became Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue in 2003. Because of the increased growth and traffic at FLHIA, the fire rescue needs kept pace with that growth. In late 2002 a new mid-field state of the art fire station replaced outdated and outgrown quarters on the outskirts of the airport. Currently, Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue has over 100 FAA-certified firefighters.

Station 10 units responded to 2,667 runs in 2006. It consists of: four crash trucks, one structural engine, a battalion chief and two paramedic rescues. On a typical alert-2, which is a problem in-flight, a first alarm response includes: Station 10 units plus hazardous materials and technical rescue teams and units from adjacent Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue’s Port Everglades station. An alert-3, a confirmed incident, can add upwards of 50 additional units.

PHOTO CUTLINE: Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Chief of Department Joseph R. Lello (right) prepares to give a congratulatory handshake to Asst. Chief Steven Dersham (left) at a retirement ceremony on December 31st, 2007 at Ft. Lauderdale Hollywood Int’l Airport where Dersham has served for 30 years. Dersham is holding his helmet also presented by Chief Lello. Watching (center) is Acting Asst. Chief Harris Bouchillon who was appointed by Chief Lello to assume command duties at the airport.

Photo by Mike Jachles/Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue

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