My name is Jim Laughlin and I have been surfing since 1979. Originally from Miami, I relocated to Hawaii in 1982, then moved back to Florida in 1990. As an aside, I also own a small piece of land in beautiful, beach-rich Costa Rica, down Playa Negra Way.
Professionally, I am a firefighter / EMT for Palm Beach County Fire Rescue and a part-time ocean lifegaurd for Martin County. I enjoy both jobs very much and find them to be very personally fulfilling.
Back in 1994, I began to notice that a lot of firefighters I came across were also surfers. Then inspiration struck: the idea of somehow marrying the two passions - surfing and firefighting. Both require plenty of nerve, a lot of discipline and both involve risk that ultimately pay off with great rewards. I wanted someway to network with other professionals who had the same interests.
Thus the name and concept of the Surfing Firefighters of Florida was born. At first we organized beach clean-ups and did things like getting large groups together and renting out Typhoon Lagoon in Disney World and coordinating surfing trips to Costa Rica.
Now I have dropped the "Florida" from our name in the hope of making it a nation-wide or even worldwide organization. I am open to any suggestions or welcome anyone interested in starting a chapter or region. Maybe someday, we can get surf competions together or even accommodate other charitable or civic events.
In the mean time, please feel free to contact me via e-mail. Also, check out our killer T-shirts and stickers - I'm sure you'll agree our logos kicks ass! And there's more to come, so stay tuned!
Keep surfing and serving