The Benevolent Association was established to promote efficiency, cooperation, harmony and social relationships among its members and has continued to strive to accomplish this mission over its history.
In 1977 the American Red Cross donated a 1953 GMC Canteen Truck to the Benevolent. This truck serviced many a firefighter over the years it was in service., responding anytime during the day or night when requested. In 1989 history was made with the first Department purchased and maintained Canteen Truck. The Canteen Truck still responds, and is staffed and fully stocked with food and drink by the Benevolent.
During March of 1982 the members of the Benevolent began volunteering to staff the First Aid Stations at the Dade County Youth Fair. Since that time, and because of the quality of service given to the public, the Dade County Youth Fair has become one of the safest fair’s in the nation.
Under President Poitras, who has a great interest in fishing, the annual “Firefighters Fishing Festival” was started in 1985. This tournament brings together firefighters from all over South Florida for three days of fun and fishing competition.
The Burn Center has always had a special place in the heart of Benevolent members. During 1980, President Ralph Carbone started a 6-year commitment to the Burn Center, and in 1986 that commitment was fulfilled with a $2 million endowment realized. That endowment helped to build the Burn Center that we now have.
The Benevolent’s “Distinguished Service Award” was re-established in 1989. Since that time, four of the six firefighters honored have been named “Florida Firefighter of the Year”. The year 1989 also saw the start of the annual “Salute To Our Own” dinner dance which honors the uniformed and non-uniformed Miami-Dade Fire Rescue employees of the month.
The Association continues to strive for family unity by hosting several functions for the family throughout the year. from the Homestead Rodeo in February to the Christmas Party for the children in December, the Association strives to continue the family unity known as the Dade County Firemen’s Benevolent Association, for we are all one family.
The Benevolent Association has gone through many changes over the years, but the one thing that will never change is the commitment to the members and their families.