On Monday, Sept. 20, Escambia County Fire Rescue firefighter Gary Diamond was posthumously honored as Florida’s Career Firefighter of the Year during the 2021 Fire Service Awards. On Dec. 26, Diamond was shot and killed in the front yard of his Molino home.
During Monday’s ceremony, Diamond’s wife, Cindy, accepted the award on behalf of her husband.
“Gary was known as an influence on others with the experience and passion to build a strong fire service community,” said State Chief Financial Officer and Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis.
In 1982, Diamond began his Escambia County Fire Rescue career as a volunteer firefighter at the Ensley Volunteer Fire Department and eventually transferred to the Molino Volunteer Fire Department. In 2006, he joined Navarre Beach Fire Rescue as a career firefighter and EMT. He retired from Navarre Beach Fire Rescue as a captain.
After retiring from Navarre Beach Fire Rescue, Diamond volunteered with Escambia County Fire Rescue as a fleet transport driver.
“Gary was a long-time public servant and served the citizens of Escambia County for many years,” said Escambia County Fire Rescue Deputy Fire Chief Paul Williams. “We had the pleasure of knowing Gary as a friend and colleague. We should reflect on the lives he touched as a trainer and mentor. He is greatly missed and will always be remembered.”
Eleven other awards were distributed by State CFO and Fire Marshal Patronis during the 2021 Fire Service Awards, including Fire Chief of the Year, Fire Marshal of the Year and Volunteer Firefighter of the Year.