President Smith joined Broward County Fire Rescue in 2003 and has served county residents and visitors in every service area. He began his career as a Firefighter/Paramedic and then rose through the ranks as an Acting Driver, Lieutenant, Captain, Battalion Chief and even Assistant District Fire Chief. Since the beginning of his career, President Smith has been diversified in all areas of the county, including Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, and the Special Operations Command. President Smith has also been the Planning Section Chief at the Sheriff’s Emergency Operations Center as well as being part of Presidential details.
President Smith started his union involvement in 2001, when he joined the IAFF local 3080. As a dues paying member in good standings, he attended meetings and was a part of the union body process. In 2003, he joined local 3333 and in 2005 was assigned his first position as Sergeant of Arms. This position allowed him to mentor, engage, and watch the union executive board (eboard) conduct business. After the resignation of a staff representative, President Smith was voted through the eboard to hold that vacant seat. Since then, he has held all positions within the eboard. In 2019, President Smith decided to run for President and ran unopposed.
As Vice President, he was able to represent members in various cases including internal affairs, grievances, union negotiations, and labor management. President Smith oversaw the FIRE OPS 101. This opportunity allowed him to demonstrate to elected officials what the fire service is about. In his continuing devotion to serving the community, President Smith has also been on education advisory boards and is currently on the Florida Retirement System (FRS) committee as a union representative in hopes of achieving reinstatement of benefits to members affected in 2015.
President Smith is also a licensed pilot. He has graduated with an Associate degrees in Emergency Medical Services and Fire ScienceTechnology, a Bachelor’s degree in Fire Science, and a Master’s degree in Emergency Management from Walden University.
Vice President Bickman joined Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue in 2004 after merging from the City of Cooper City where he began his fire rescue career. Vice President Bickman is currently a Battalion Chief floating throughout Broward County on Alpha shift. His career began in the City of Cooper City where he was hired as a Firefighter/EMT. Vice President Bickman then rose to the ranks of Driver Engineer and Rescue Supervisor while still employed with Cooper City Fire Rescue. Vice President Bickman then merged into the Broward Sheriff’s Office Department of Fire and Rescue where he held the position of Lieutenant, Captain, and most recently the position of Battalion Chief. Vice President Bickman has served in several factions of the Fire Rescue Division including Technical Rescue, Seaport Operations, and Airport Operations. Vice President Bickman is also a member of The Advanced Medical Bike Team (AMBU) and currently serves as the Coordinator for the program. Vice President Bickman currently has both his Associates Degrees in both Fire Science and Emergency Medical Services. Vice President Bickman is a State of Florida Fire Inspector, Fire Instructor, and Live Fire Instructor.
Vice President Bickman started his union involvement in 1992 as the Muscular Dystrophy Coordinator for the Metro-Broward Firefighters, Cooper City District 8. Vice President Bickman was then given the honor of MDA chairperson for the Metro Broward Firefighters of 3080 and the Broward County Council of Firefighters. Vice President Bickman then was elected to the position of Vice President for 3080, District 8 on behalf of the Cooper City Firefighters where he served 9 years in that capacity. Vice President Bickman has currently served the members of the Broward Firefighters, Local 4321 since 2011.
As Vice President he has assisted in several contract negotiations, represented various members on cases including internal affairs, and grievances. Vice President Bickman has run several elections and assisted the local with managing The Political Action Committee (PAC) and running several elections throughout Broward County in support of our local. Vice President Bickman currently serves as the chair for The Training, Standards and Qualifications (TSQ) where he helps facilitate the standards and qualifications within all of the departments of fire rescue. Vice President Bickman is currently a registered Peer Councilor with the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and a service representative for the IAFF.
Secretary Noland started his career as a Firefighter/Paramedic with the city of Deerfield Beach. During his first couple years on the job, he had major involvement in local campaigns and elections. In October 2011, DBFR merged with the Broward Sheriff’s Fire Rescue, beginning Thomas' journey with local 4321. In 2014, he became an executive board member (Staff Representative) with local 4321 and continued in that role for four years until eventually running for Union Secretary, the position he currently holds.
Some of Thomas’ major accomplishments include, assisting with municipal and county
elections and securing political connections for the union. In May 2019, he was a key
representative in Tallahassee in support of the SWAT medic bill, which allows SWAT
medics to carry weapons protected under Florida law. This was extremely difficult, as
it required getting multiple agencies on board in support of the bill. Locally, Thomas has
spearheaded the Surfers for Autism event every June for the last five years, a major
community relations event where the Local donates food and cook for volunteers. In
following his father’s legacy, Thomas has stepped into similar roles in union leadership
positions and he’s done so with great eagerness, aiming to represent all members equally under any circumstances.
As a 31-year-old executive board member, Thomas has many years left in this local to lead it in the direction the founding union leaders intended. He believes it’s his job to stand up for the contract and benefits the Union members hold, and do everything in his power to maintain and improve them.
Treasurer Andy Berkowitz joined Broward County Fire Rescue in 1984 and has served the county residents and visitors in all districts. He began his career as a Firefighter and rose through the ranks as a Driver Engineer, Lieutenant, and retired as a Captain in 2015.
Andy has been a member of Technical Rescue, Haz-Mat, Ship Board Firefighting and ARFF. Andy was a member of FEMA Task Force 2, and ultimately became a Search Team Manager. He was deployed to NYC after the attack on the World Trade Center as part of the search and rescue efforts.
Andy first joined the union in 1984 and became a shift rep in 1990. He was elected Treasurer in 1994 and has retained that position throughout various mergers and changes. As Treasurer, he contributed to the growth and expansion of both the department and the union.
A long-term goal of the board has been to purchase a Union Hall for all the Brothers and Sisters to conduct business, as well as a place to celebrate events. Andy has been pivotal in achieving this goal by carefully managing the Local’s finances over the years. He worked closely with the Architect, and conducted meetings with public officials and building/zoning departments to help insure a smooth renovation process going forward. Demolition of the building interior has begun, with an estimated completion in mid 2020.
“ I am proud to have served Local 4321. When I joined, there were 203 members and 3 retirees- we now have 760 members and 200 retirees. In my 30 years of working for my brothers and sisters, I have had the pleasure of working with Presidents Walter J. Dix and Tory Fatjo. Both paved the way to creating an outstanding organization that has secured many benefits for our members. I look forward to working with our new President Jason P. Smith and the board in continuing to achieve our goals.”
Staff Rep Jeremiah Tomasini began his career on January 3, 2005 with the City of Deerfield Beach Fire Rescue as a FF/EMT. During this time he became a Paramedic, and a certified Fire Inspector for Broward County and the State of Florida. In October of 2011 he joined Broward County Fire Rescue with the merger of DBFR.
As a proud member of BSODFRES, Staff Rep Tomasini has worked and operated in many roles including Firefighter/Paramedic, Fire Inspector, Fire Investigator, Driver Engineer, Lieutenant, and Motor Medic. He has held bids at the FLL Airport and Deerfield stations, and currently floats throughout all BSOFR stations in Broward County. He enjoys doing so as it keeps him in touch with all 4321 members he represents.
Staff Rep Tomasini joined the Local 4321 Union Executive Board as a Staff Representative in December of 2018 where he quickly volunteered to start, and be the liaison for, the newly founded Facilities Committee, and overseeing the maintenance and safety issues that arise in all BSOFR fire stations. He has assisted in Crash Review Board meetings, elections, voting, and special events. He felt it was needed to speak on behalf of his brothers and sisters in the body and to be the bridge of communication so the flow of information remains going in both directions. Staff Rep Tomasini is happy to give a Union update at any station he is working at.
Staff Rep Tomasini Currently holds an Emergency Medical Services and Fire Science degree.
Native of South Florida, Walter was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, FL. He has dedicated his career to the Fire Rescue Service, having served for over 37 years as a Firefighter with Broward County Fire Rescue. Hired in 1978 he rose through the ranks and was promoted to the rank of Fire Captain in 1986. Under his leadership in the early 90’s, Broward County merged all Fire and EMS services under one department. Captain Dix has held various positions in the department including; Captain Special Operations Technical Rescue, Captain Hazardous Materials team, Regional Communications and head of the Fire Training Division.
As a charter member of the Local, he served in several Union Officer positions including Shift Rep., Secretary, and Vice President until he was elected as the President of the Broward County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Association IAFF Local 4321 from 1991 to 2017. In 2017 he was honored as Life Member/President Emeritus IAFF Local 4321.
President Dix also served concurrently with the Florida Professional Firefighters for 10 years as a Trustee and 3 years as the State Vice President. The State Association honored him with Vice President Emeritus status for his service. DVP Dix has served as the International Association of Firefighters 12th District Field Service Representative from 2001 until 2017 assisting many locals with organizing, contract negotiations, and grievance handling. In 2008 he was appointed to the IAFF/IAFC Labor Management Initiative as an LMI Facilitator working with numerous fire departments conducting Labor Management training. Other affiliations include; Broward County Council of Professional Fire Fighters, Florida Fire Chiefs Association, Broward County Regional Emergency Medical Services Council, IAFF Elected Human Relations Committee and the International Association of Fire Fighters Occupational Health and Safety committee.
2004, the Broward County Council of Professional Firefighters named him Firefighter of the Year. 2009 he was awarded Florida Professional Firefighter of the year by the Governor, State Fire Marshal/CFO, and Florida Cabinet. 2010 he was awarded the IAFF Local Leadership award at the IAFF 50th Convention in San Diego. He is a graduate of the Harvard school on contract negotiations, attended Broward College, and Nova Southeastern University.
2017 Walter was elected by acclimation to IAFF 12th District Vice President. As the IAFF 12th District Vice President he is responsible for 36,000+ IAFF members in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean Islands.
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