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Broward’s initiative to stand by first responder families in their darkest hours

Broward County, Florida – Broward County’s recent initiative to financially assist the families of first responders who tragically pass away in service may extend its support to the kin of the fire-rescue expert lost in the previous week’s helicopter incident, as informed by the county officials.

This assistance will be applied retrospectively, designed “to accommodate the unfortunate accident that happened last week,” as articulated by County Administrator Monica Cepero during a meeting with county leaders on Thursday.

On a fateful day, Aug. 28, tragedy struck when a Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue helicopter met with an accident, crashing into a residential building in Pompano Beach. This devastating event resulted in the death of Capt. Terryson Jackson of the Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue and a resident, Ms. Lurean Wheaton. In the aftermath, four individuals were hospitalized. The root cause of this calamity is still under investigation. Nevertheless, a representative from the National Transportation Safety Board conveyed that a preliminary report will be forthcoming by Friday.

While the detailed parameters of Broward’s support program are yet to be finalized, the framework suggests a provision of $25,000 for each bereaved family of law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel associated with either the Sheriff’s Office or any Broward municipality. This fund is intended to be disbursed monthly over the span of a year, providing immediate fiscal relief for essentials such as housing costs and funeral expenses, bridging the gap until other compensations are processed.

For this endeavor, Broward County has allocated $50,000 in its upcoming fiscal plan. County officials have expressed the desire for the inception of this assistance to trace back to its initial discussion date, April 4.

However, the practicalities of its implementation raised concerns for Commissioner Michael Udine. He acknowledged the importance, stating, “I agree we should do this,” but remained skeptical of its efficient execution, remarking, “Once anything goes into the hands of government, it gets majorly screwed up.” He further delved into potential complications that might arise, emphasizing queries about the disbursement process and potential legal entanglements.

In response, Commissioner Mark Bogen, who introduced the budgetary allocation in April, defended the intent, stating, “I think we can do some things competently.” He emphasized the core principle: “It comes down to helping the family in the time of need.”

In memory of Capt. Jackson’s commendable service, Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony has posthumously elevated him to the rank of battalion chief. Jackson’s illustrious career began in 2004 with the Deerfield Beach Fire Rescue. He later integrated with the Broward Sheriff’s Office in 2011 and further showcased his dedication by joining an air rescue squad in 2013, earning a promotion to captain by 2016.

A memorial service, honoring Jackson’s line of duty, is slated for Friday, 10 a.m., at The Faith Center in Sunrise. Attendees are advised to consider carpooling owing to the anticipated large turnout and consequential traffic congestion. The commemorative service will conclude with a rifle salute, which will be audibly pronounced.

Additionally, a ceremony to celebrate Ms. Wheaton’s life has been scheduled for the upcoming weekend. Wheaton, a Pompano Beach resident and originally from Pendleton, South Carolina, had relocated to Florida in 1998. Her service will be held at the New Holly Light Missionary Baptist Church in Anderson, South Carolina, with her subsequent burial.

Lowell Bowen

From the time he was 8 years old Lowell knew he wanted to be on TV. Well, as people say one thing leads to another, that's how Lowell started his career in the news industry. Lowell has been part of The South Florida Daily since the very beginning.

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