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Seminole man is top paramedic

By JULIANNE WU, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 13, 2003

SEMINOLE -- Seminole Fire Rescue firefighter/paramedic David Hudak has been selected Paramedic of the Year for Pinellas County. He will be recognized by county commissioners on June 10 and will be eligible for consideration in state competition.

Fire Chief Dan Graves announced Hudak's award last week at a City Council meeting.

Hudak, 35, has been a Seminole firefighter for 15 years and a paramedic for the past 10 years. Besides his work in Seminole, Hudak is on the Pinellas County Hazardous Materials team and chairman of the county's Advanced Life Support EMS equipment committee.

In 1997, Hudak and several other firefighters formed a non-profit organization, Clowning by PUFFS, which stands for Pinellas United Firefighters for Safety. The group, which is on a temporary hiatus, entertains schoolchildren while teaching fire prevention tips and basic safety. Hudak conducts numerous fire/EMS safety programs in area schools on his own.

Of the award, Hudak said, "I'm extremely pleased with it. I think I'm still in the shock stage."

Graves was elated, too. "Man, that is awesome news about David. He's been with us many years and I can't think of anyone who deserves it more. He's done so much for us and the county, serving on several EMS committees."

Hudak and his wife, Melissa, have three sons and live in Seminole.

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