East Manatee Fire Rescue is Building for Tomorrow


East Manatee Fire Rescue is planning into the future by engineering and designing Fire Station 7.  The District is also in the process of building a 4 level training tower that should be completed in the first quarter of 2018.  Click on the link below for details from the Observer.


News from Jimmy Patronis, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer


To view information from the Florida’s Department of Financial Services click on the link below:


Lieutenant Matt Talaska Received the Fire Safety Commendation Medal Award

On March 17, 2017, Sons of the American Revolution had a luncheon meeting to honor Fire Safety and Medical Services. East Manatee Fire Rescue submitted Lieutenant Matt Talaska for the Fire Safety Commendation Medal award for his extraordinary work representing the District in playing the bagpipes.  He has performed at such venues as Fire Rescue East, The Florida Fire College’s Annual Fallen Firefighter Memorial Service, and the Manatee County Annual 9-1-1 Memorial Service.  He also plays at graduations from our local fire academy and other events.  He performs at funerals and memorials for fallen firefighters all over the state.

Other than being allowed some administrative time off during his work day, his contribution is completely voluntary and at his own expense.  Yet Lieutenant Talaska is constantly portraying his dedication and loyalty to the fire service using his unique craft.  We are proud to recognized Lieutenant Talaska for his contributions.

East Manatee-LT Talaska

Fire Safety Commendation Medal Awardee, Lieutenant Matt Talaska of the East Manatee Fire Rescue. Shown here with Deputy Chief Will Hall and Saramana President Steve Fields.


Press Release

East Manatee Fire Rescue held their Annual Promotions and Awards Program on 3/20/17 during the Board of Fire Commissioners.  Chief Lee Whitehurst was pleased to announce the following appointments to firefighters:

Mathew AssenmacherRookies Group Picture

Timothy Bedell

Adam Butler

Benjamin Carpenter

John Carlson

Dustin Ellis

Dillon Garback


Mathew Assenmacher, Benjamin Carpenter, John Carlson, Dustin Ellis were also presented with a military service ribbon for their service in the US Coast Guard, Army, and Marine Corp respectively.


Also, the following promotions were made:

  • Lieutenant Kim Luther to Administrative Officer


  • Lieutenant Casey Lambert to Captain
  • Lieutenant Kyle Taylor to Captain
  • Lieutenant Matt Talaska to Captain
  • Lieutenant Charles Reid to Captain


  • Engineer Chris Galbraith to Lieutenant
  • Engineer Scott Rhodes to Lieutenant
  • Engineer Eric Hoying to Lieutenant
  • Engineer Paul Wren to Lieutenant


  • Firefighter Derek LaPlante to Engineer
  • Firefighter Steven Baker to Engineer
  • Firefighter James Darby to Engineer
  • Firefighter Rob Day to Engineer
  • Firefighter Steven Krajacic to Engineer

2016 Fire Officer of the Year

Newly promoted Captain Matt Talaska was named Fire Officer of the Year for 2016FOOTY Talaska










2016 Firefighter of the Year

FF oty MadsenDeputy Chief William Hall presented Firefighter Craig Madsen as the 2016 East Manatee Firefighter of the Year.









Click on the link for the East Manatee Fire Rescue Media Release for Monday 3/20/17:  EMFR Media Release 3-20-17



December 19, 2016 was the Chief’s last day of work. That evening, the new East Manatee Fire Rescue Station 2 was dedicated to retiring Chief Byron J. Teates after 32 years of service.

Chief Teates was honored with a flag ceremony by the Manatee County Honor Guard and presented with a flag that was flown over the State Capital and all 7 East Manatee Fire Rescue facilities. In addition, the Chief was presented with his retirement badge before he and the Board uncoupled fire hose in a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the new station to the awaiting public.

Chief Teates officially retires January 9th. The Board of Fire Commissioners has appointed Deputy Chief Lee Whitehurst as the new Fire Chief.

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For more information, call Battalion Chief Derrick Toney at 941-737-3605.


November 11, 2016

During November 11th Board of Fire Commissioners meeting, East Manatee Fire Chief Byron Teates administered the oath of office to Bob Conley for Seat 2 and Derek Foss for Seat 4. Commissioner Foss succeeds James Bon Ami who had been serving in Seat 4 since 2000.



Derek Foss – Seat 4


Bon Ami

Mr. Bon Ami was presented a plaque of appreciation for his contribution, hard work, and service to the community as a Fire Commissioner for the last 16 years. Thanks Jim!


Board of Fire Commissioners November 2016



March 14, 2016

Onishenko Promotion to FM 2016In the Board of Fire Commissioners meeting Monday March 14, 2016, East Manatee Fire Chief Byron Teates promoted Alex Onishenko to Fire Marshal. Onishenko served as Deputy Fire Marshal for the past year. He succeeds George Ellington, who retired in October.

Onishenko began his service with the East Manatee Fire Rescue District last year upon his retirement from the New Port Richey Fire Department after a 26 year career, the last 7 as the Fire Chief.




February 8, 2016

In the Board of Fire Commissioners meeting Monday February 8, 2016, East Manatee Fire Rescue presented their Annual Awards.

Chief Teates Fire Officer of the year 2015

Commission Chairman Robert Conley presenting Fire Chief Byron Teates as Co-Fire Officer of the Year.







Mcdaniel Officer of the year 2015

Deputy Chief Lee Whitehurst presenting Lieutenant Adam McDaniel as Co-Fire Officer of the Year.








Retired Lieutenant Rick Wren presenting his son Engineer Paul Wren as Firefighter of the Year. Wren FF of the year 2015