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“Firefighters for Austin Arthur” is formed on the same day the Orange County District 1 Candidate releases his first firefighter union endorsement

For Immediate Release

March 13, 2024


Austin Arthur, candidate for Orange County Commission District 1, has raised over $200,000, held a rally with nearly 500 residents in attendance, and clinched the endorsements of 4 West Orange County mayors and over 20 other elected officials. He has now received his first endorsement by a firefighter union on the same day a group titling itself “Firefighters for Austin Arthur” is launched. 

The advocacy group that was launched in coordination with Arthur’s campaign is speaking out against the current commissioner stating “Commissioner Nicole Wilson wanted to place wrongful death suits on Orange County Firefighters holding them liable for COVID deaths,” it further added that she referred to firefighters as individuals who "claim to be public servants." On the website the group provides a video of Wilson saying these very comments during a 9/28/24 BCC meeting. The group is calling for individual firefighters to endorse Austin’s campaign.


One firefighter union did that very thing on the same day. Although not mentioning Wilson in their endorsement whatsoever, Reedy Creek Fire Rescue - IAFF Local 2117 endorsed Austin stating that the candidate “has shown his ability to connect with and work alongside members of our community from all walks of life. As an active member of our community, Austin will continue to have his finger on the pulse of the community, and will find common sense ways to address the diverse issues facing Orange County residents.”

Arthur released a statement on social media regarding the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2117 endorsement:


As a former firefighter paramedic, and with my father who spent over 30 years as a firefighter paramedic, this endorsement is very meaningful to me.

Especially given my dad's story. He was one of the country's earliest paramedics, starting in the 1970s where the program was founded in Miami. During the decades of his service, he did many important things for his department, including starting an advocacy website, during the early years of the internet, dedicated to listing firefighters who passed away within his union. He specifically wanted to highlight the correlation with cancer in firefighters. This correlation was little realized or spoke about during that time.


Within a year of his retirement, he was diagnosed with lymphoma, one of the "firefighter cancers." He passed away within a year of that diagnosis. I logged his "Last Alarm" on the site he created. Since then, Local 1403 has adopted the program, creating a powerful legacy. 


I will ALWAYS have the backs of our firefighters and first responders. They put their lives on the line, not only during the immediate dangers they face on a call, but also the long-term risks firefighters take on as they serve their communities

Thank you for the trust and support, Reedy Creek Fire Rescue - IAFF Local 2117 RCFR - your endorsement means a great deal and I will not let you down.

Reedy Creek Fire Rescues’ full endorsement statement is attached to this release.

Austin Arthur is an entrepreneur, an employer, community advocate, and a former firefighter/paramedic. He and his brother founded Gymnastics USA, Florida’s largest gymnastics center, and also run Stars and Stripes Marketing Services, a full-stack marketing firm. Austin serves on multiple boards and charities, including Winter Garden Architectural Review and Historic Preservation Board, West Orange Habitat for Humanity, Challenge 22 to End Veteran Suicide, Central Florida YMCA, West Orange Scholarship Foundation, Eight Waves Children and Family Services, Explore and Soar Children's Museum, and others. Austin and his wife live in Winter Garden and have three young children.  As a successful entrepreneur who has created hundreds of jobs in Orange County, Austin will be the common sense, pro-jobs, proeconomic growth commissioner who will also prioritize safe neighborhoods, infrastructure and preserving our natural environment.

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