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Q&A: Fire safety expo comes to Hollywood

From left to right are battalion commander Stephen Zitnick, division chief Louis Valdes and battalion commander Joshua Eveleth. (Damon Scott)

HOLLYWOOD – The Hollywood Council Office sponsored a fire safety expo April 22 at the Hollywood Fire Rescue Station 108, located at 3105 N State Road 7. The event hadn’t been held since before the Covid-19 pandemic began in 2020.

The expo offered tribal and community members a fire station tour, kitchen fire safety class, hands on safety demonstrations (including a chance to be “firefighter for a day” by spraying a fire hose), fire extinguisher training, propane safety, CPR training, training on how to stop a bleed, a meet and greet with “Sparky” the fire dog, and lunch that was provided by the Hollywood Council Office.

We asked the Seminole Tribe’s Fire Rescue fire chief Michael Mackey a couple questions about the event. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

What was the goal of the expo?

It’s an event where we raise awareness about fire safety in our community through education and training. We organized several activities and a range of fun events for people of all ages. We are committed to building a relationship with the tribal member’s families and creating a safer environment for everyone. Ultimately, our aim is to reduce the incidence of fires and to build relationships.

How did the idea first come about?  

The concept was initiated by [Hollywood] Councilman Chris Osceola and his staff, who envisioned a community event that focused on fire safety. The Fire Rescue team worked together with the council member to bring his vision to life – various fun events that encourage community participation and engagement and are aimed at promoting fire safety awareness in the community.

More is at

Fire Rescue lieutenant Charles Hershman helps Reign Hincapie operate a fire hose. (Damon Scott)
Fire Rescue lieutenant Mackinley Pratt explains some of the equipment the department uses when responding to calls. (Damon Scott)
Firefighter and paramedic Rafael Diaz gives youngsters the experience of sitting on a fire truck. (Damon Scott)
Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at