Photo courtesy of Sai from Sai Photography

On Friday, September 15, the South Lake Chamber of Commerce hosted a First Responders Appreciation breakfast at the Clermont Performing Arts Center.  The event was filled to capacity.

First Responders from across South Lake were recognized for their service and each received a medallion in appreciation of his/her service, dedication, and hard work in keeping the community safe.

Clermont Fire Chief Enzel and Clermont Police Chief Chuck Broadway recognized the first responders serving South Lake.

Clermont Fire Chief David Ezel (Photo by Sai from Sai Photography)

Those recognized and thanked for their service:

Chief David Ezel praised the Clermont Fire Department and

  • Chief Kevin Carroll and the Groveland Fire Department 
  • Chief Jan Otero and the Minneola Fire Department 
  • Public Safety Director David Kilbury, Fire Chief James Dickerson, and Lake County Fire Rescue. 

Chief Chuck Broadway praised the Clermont Police Department and

  •  Chief Shawn Ramsey and the Groveland Police Department 
  •  Chief Rick Thomas and the Howey in the Hills Police Department 
  •  Sheriff Peyton Grinnell, Lake County Sheriff’s Department, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Department Minneola District 
  • Chief Eric Pedersen and the Mascotte Police Department 

Lake Minneola High School Band

Lake Minneola High School Band (Photo by Sai from Sai Photography)

Lake Minneola High Band is doing a fundraiser to purchase uniforms. Please consider donating to help them reach their goal. To learn more, go to

Keynote Speaker: Chief Julius Halas 

Chief Julius Halas is an exceptional veteran firefighter and paramedic who has achieved remarkable success throughout his career. His extensive experience in domestic security, strategic planning, disaster response and recovery, emergency management, incident command and emergency operations, fire and rescue services, and supervision and leadership have earned him numerous accolades for his outstanding work. 


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