The City of Key West, Florida

The Southernmost City in th Continental United States

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Fire Chief Fraga Honored

Several former fire chiefs were among the many praising Key West Fire Chief David Fraga for his 40 years of service to the city during last night's City Commission meeting.

"I'm very proud of David," said retired Chief Eddie Castro. "Of all the people I've known, he deserves every bit of praise he receives tonight."

Fraga began as a firefighter in 1973, worked his way up through the ranks and became chief in 2006. This month Fraga hits his 40-year milestone, but he's not ready for retirement, he says.

"I never thought I would last for 40 years," he said following a standing ovation from the commissioners and the packed house. "But the truth is I consider myself extremely lucky. I never kept track of my time in years. I always thought of them in terms of different fires, different stories and different events that I associated with my career. I never considered going to work as working. I am sure that many people would give anything to say that about their chosen profession. I am truly blessed.

"Yes," he continued, "a lot has changed in the Key West Fire Department during the last 40 years. But one thing hasn't changed: the commitment of the Key West Fire Department and the dedication of our firefighters to fulfill its mission of Serving the Southernmost City. So, after 40 years, I stand here tonight very grateful for this recognition and extremely proud to be a member of the Key West Fire Department."

In the photo: Fire Chief David Fraga looks on humbly as the City Commission and everyone in the packed chamber of Old City Hall gave him a standing ovation for his 40 years of service to the Key West Fire Department.