Local News

Council recognizes outstanding police, firefighters

- A Sebring firefighter has become the first to be named Firefighter of the Year two years in a row, Fire Chief Brad Batz said.

The Sebring City Council earlier this week recognized David Avila as firefighter of the year for 2013. He had also won the award for 2012.

Batz told the council that Avila is a hard worker who does a good job, but also interacts well with the public. He said Avila is popular during fire safety presentations at schools because he is effective at teaching the information in a way that is entertaining and makes the students and teachers laugh.

Schools have specifically requested Avila for the fire safety presentations, he said.

Batz said Avila previously lived in New York and that the terrorist attacks helped inspire him to become a firefighter.

Council members also honored Police Officer Sean Bueford as Officer of the Year for 2013 and Roberta "Bobbie" Abeln as civilian employee of the year.

Police Chief Thomas Dettman said Bueford saved the life of a man on Sept. 16, 2013. He had also saved a woman from a burning house on May 17, 2004.

Abeln is the records clerk for the Sebring Police Department and is known for her availability, compassion, dependability, enthusiasm and joyfulness, Dettman said.


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