Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam and Florida State Forester Jim Karels today announced that Senior Forest Ranger David Dietz is the 2017 Forestry Firefighter of the Year.
David Dietz has served as a wildland firefighter with the Florida Forest Service since September 2006, and he is currently the lead training officer for the Chipola Forestry Center. Dietz strives to improve himself and his colleagues through strong leadership and initiative.
Dietz helped reshape how the Florida Forest Service prepares young firefighters for Basic Fire Control Training after becoming certified as a wildland firefighter, emergency medical responder and structure firefighter one. Dietz seeks input for classes needed, both internal and external, and often works weekends to facilitate training for local fire departments.
“Our wildland firefighters risk their lives to protect our residents and the wildlife that make Florida a special place to live,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.
“I congratulate David on being named the 2017 Forestry Firefighter of the Year.”
“David’s dedication to the safety of Floridians is unrivaled, and I am honored to recognize his exemplary service with the Florida Forest Service,” said Florida State Forester Jim Karels.
The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of state forests and provides forest management assistance on more than 17 million acres of private and community forests. The Florida Forest Service is also responsible for protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more at FloridaForestService.com.
Today, one of our Chipola Forestry Center Wildland Firefighters was recognized as the 2017 Forestry Firefighter of the Year.
David Dietz, a local from Calhoun County, began his career with the Florida Forest Service in September 2006. As a Forest Ranger he was a natural leader and quickly developed a reputation as such among his peers. While stationed at the Wetappo Fire Tower in Gulf County, he was responsible for fire coverage in one of the most fire prevalent areas in the Chipola District. Dietz has looked for every opportunity to take additional training or participate in any fire assignments.
After 8 years at Wetappo, Dietz decided he would like to transfer as a forest ranger to the Marianna Forestry Station in Jackson County, where he quickly promoted to Senior Forest Ranger. His work ethic and commitment to training was obvious and soon after his promotion, Dietz took over as the District Training Officer. He took the new task with fervor, and quickly transformed the Chipola training program into what it has become today.
Since he began the District Training Officer, Dietz has instructed over 1300 firefighters from the Florida Forest Service, Department of Defense, USFS, Department of Environmental Protection, and Structure Fire Departments for over 16,537 man hours. His commitment to training, fire control and good customer service to the citizens of Florida makes it an honor to call him a worthy candidate for Firefighter of the Year; his dignity, pride and professionalism makes him an inspiration to his peer.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” humbly stated David Dietz. “The Florida Forest Service has been a great to me and my family but more than that, I have made some lifelong friends that we now consider as family.”
Please join the Chipola Forestry Center as we congratulate David Dietz.