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Bradley Stokes fire school scholarship goes to Dillon Haire

August 5, 2015
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Friday evening, July 24, 24-year-old Fort Myers resident Dillon Haire was awarded the Bradley Stokes Scholarship award from Rebecca Stokes.

The Bradley Stokes Scholarship fund was set up by Rebecca Stokes, Bradley's mother, after her son died in a motorcycle accident May 18, 2012.

"I established this fund because I wanted my son's passion of becoming a firefighter to live on through others who share the same desire," Stokes said.

Article Photos

Dillon Haire

"I received my B.A in criminal justice but wasn't sure I wanted to go into that field," Haire said. "I've always been enamored with firefighting and decided to move in that direction. I decided to go to Florida Southwestern for my EMT certification."

The Emergency Medical Services Training program at Florida SouthWestern is designed to prepare students to become competent entry-level EMTs and/or paramedic.

"Once I had my EMT certification, I applied to fire school," Haire said.

Applicants for fire school must meet stringent requirements: at least 18 years old, no felony convictions or misdemeanor convictions involving moral turpitude, standard high school diploma or G.E.D., be of good moral character, pass a physical exam by doctor (EKG included), possess a valid Florida drivers license, proof of hospitalization/medical insurance (school insurance is available), submit fingerprints, pass a drug screen test, submit copies of TABE scores, be affiliated or become affiliated with an active fire department and possess a current CPR card.

"I had never heard about the scholarship until I was in fire school," Haire said. "That's when I wrote a letter to Rebecca Stokes. I was thrilled they accepted me for the scholarship. I can't even find the words to thank Rebecca and the Bradley Stokes Scholarship for this award, I am very, very grateful."

"Bradley really loved firefighting and he wanted to be a firefighter since he was about 3 years old. When he was 14, he began going to the fire department and participated in the Fire Explorer program where he would do training and field trips," Stokes said. "After graduating from Edison State College, it was around the time when firefighters were being laid off, he joined the Air Force where they had a program to become a firefighter. It took him about a year to get into the Air Force and he was home on leave in May 2012 when the accident occurred."

One of the last things Bradley posted on his Facebook page was, "Every man receives the same amount of time; what he chooses to do with it is entirely up to him."

Contributions to the Bradley Stokes Memorial Fund may be made at StoneGate Bank, Pine Island Office; see Elsie Stearns.



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