A Hero Among Us and Now Above Us:
Kevin Patrick Mehaffey
Firefighter Paramedic, Brother, Son, Fiancé, Father, Friend
Kevin Patrick Mehaffey lost his life on May 15, 2020, in a fatal car accident. In his 30 years of life, Kevin had accomplished so much personally and professional, while also having the joys of planning a wedding and preparing for the birth of his daughter this August.
Kevin was the type of individual that strived to excel in life, to seek out adventure in any circumstance, and to make memories every day. Those who knew Kevin, loved him.
At the young age of 4 years old, Kevin and his brothers Philip, Shaun, and Bryan, visited their uncle Billy at the Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue Department, Station 69. Kevin was enthralled with the experience and it sparked a desire in him that burned bright to become a firefighter himself.
Kevin’s dream came true in October 2015 when he joined the Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue Department, at Station 69, as a Firefighter/Paramedic. He gained respect and recognition beyond his years and was awarded the esteemed Medal of Valor in January of 2018 for a heroic dive rescue the year prior. He remains the only firefighter in Pembroke Pines history to have received such an honor. In January of 2020, Kevin was promoted to Driver Engineer at Station 99, fulfilling another childhood dream. Kevin was currently studying to take the test to become a Lieutenant, and no doubt would have become Fire Chief someday.
Kevin was not only an exceptional firefighter and paramedic; he also had a deep connection with the ocean from a young age. Kevin loved exploring the sea, took up scuba diving in his early teens, and began studying to become a licensed boat captain while still in high school. One month after his 18th birthday, he received his Six Pack Captain’s License, and currently held a United States Coast Guard 100 Ton Master License with towing endorsement. Kevin also volunteered with Captains on Call, an organization of captains that offer relief during natural disasters, and took part in assisting those in need after Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas.
Kevin’s deep appreciate for the sea led him to 4Ocean, a Public Benefit Corporation with a mission to end the ocean plastic crisis. Keven was so proud to be a part of this incredible company where he had the opportunity to strategize with the founders-turned-friends, Alex and Andrew, on a variety of ways to clean beaches and oceans of harmful plastics that pollute and endanger marine wildlife. 4Ocean has expanded to a global cleanup operation and since 2017 has collectively removed over 8.5 million pounds of plastics from bodies of water around the world, while educating youth and politicians alike on the importance of lowering our dependency on single use plastics and promoting reduction, reuse, and recycling of plastics.
Kevin recently became a licensed vessel broker to earn extra income to support his growing family. He quickly became known as a broker with integrity that always had the right questions and answers to protect his clients and ensure transparency with each vessel. He took pride in sharing his love and experience of boating during his days off from the Fire Rescue Department. His goal was to save enough funds so his fiancé could focus on raising their baby girl as a stay at home mom during her first year.
Kevin was also a commercial and certified rescue diver, working with Code 3 Divers, an Underwater Search and Recovery Team. A few years ago, Kevin challenged himself once more and began free diving in the Florida Springs, local reefs, and the Bahamas. He excelled, became sponsored by Florida Free Divers, and was vastly recognized in the South Florida diving community as someone that could always be expected to ensure the safety of his dive buddies, respect of the ocean, and would gladly whip up his famous ceviche from the catch of the day. A memorial reef will be laid to rest off the coast of South Florida in August, 2020, at the 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project.
Kevin was in all essence a selfless individual, kindhearted, hardworking, family loving, trustworthy, and genuinely only wanted to bring love and happiness to others. Kevin loved his family beyond measure, and before the pandemic would have weekly dinner dates with his mother, Marcia. Kevin was always the one at family get-togethers to insist on gathering everyone together for a group picture, smiling the brightest while surrounded by his parents, siblings, and family pets.
Kevin was lucky to have met the love of his life, Meagan, in early 2019 and the two instantly became inseparable. Kevin proposed to his sweetheart during a holiday firefighter toy drive. Meagan volunteered as an elf to hand out presents to the children along their route, and at one special stop, Santa gave Kevin a small box to present to a very confused Meagan. Kevin got down on one knee in front of his bride-to-be elf with his firefighter family at his side and asked to spend the rest of his life with her. Kevin and Meagan planned to be wed earlier this year, but due to the pandemic closing courthouses across the state had to wait until restrictions were lifted to finalize their marriage license in person.
To know Kevin during his short time with us was truly a gift, however the greatest gift he left behind arrives in August of 2020, with the birth of Kevin and Meagan’s daughter, Sydney Mehaffey, whose heart beats because of their love.
Kevin is survived by many loving friends and family including his mother Marcia, father Charlie with wife Sherry; siblings Scott retired Orange County Firefighter/Paramedic with wife Kathy and nephews Devon and Tyler; Philip and wife Shawna; Shaun with wife Krystle nephew Austin and niece Gabby, Bryan with wife Heidi and unborn nephew Oakley; Fiancé Meagan with unborn daughter Sydney, and pups Luke, Skyler, and Batman.
May we all honor Kevin’s memory by loving deeper, laughing longer, embracing each day as a chance for a new adventure, and always remembering to treasure the moments we have with one another.