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Brooksville fire chief has surgery; acting chief named

By JAMIE JONES, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 4, 2002

BROOKSVILLE -- Brooksville Fire Chief James Daugherty is recovering from heart surgery at a Hudson hospital and is expected to be on disability leave until January.

Capt. Dennis Wilfong has been named acting chief until Daugherty returns.

City officials said Daugherty began feeling ill last week and went to Brooksville Regional Hospital. He was later sent to the Regional Medical Center at Bayonet Point and had heart surgery, said Ron Baker, the city's human resources manager.

"It was a sudden thing," Baker said.

Daugherty said through a nurse on Thursday that he did not feel up to talking.

"Last report I got, the chief was resting comfortably and in good spirits," Baker said.

Baker said Daugherty had been placed on disability leave. Under state law, firefighters who suffer from heart disease are presumed to have acquired the condition from work unless proven otherwise. Wilfong said Daugherty was "doing fabulous" and hoped to return by January.

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