Coast Guard gives Meritorious Public Service Award to Canaveral Fire Rescue for Irma support

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Coast Guard presented the Meritorious Public Service Award to Canaveral Fire Rescue Wednesday during a Propeller Club luncheon in Port Canaveral.

Canaveral Fire Rescue was instrumental in resuming the ability to transfer critically needed fuel to the port after Hurricane Irma shut down vital supply lines.

During a ceremony, Capt. Todd Wiemers, the Coast Guard Sector Jacksonville Commanding Officer and Captain of the Port, gave the award to Fire Chief David Sargeant.

“Our agency partners are vital to the port’s safety and function,” said Wiemers. “With their assistance, we were able to open Port Canaveral in 36 hours after one of the largest Atlantic storms on record.”

During Hurricane Irma’s approach, the largest evacuation in U.S. history took place. Approximately six million Florida residents evacuated resulting in a rapid depletion of critical fuel supplies across the state. After Irma passed, Port Canaveral sustained infrastructural damage that resulted in the loss of power and water pressure for marine firefighting capability. A vital safety protocol to transfer fuel.

Canaveral Fire Rescue rapidly deployed an alternative firefighting plan to enable the transfer of approximately 13 million gallons of gasoline to be distributed throughout Florida. Their efforts also enabled four thousand cruise ship passengers on the Oasis of the Seas to return to port.

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