Chief Henry Lee Sheffield (retired), 65, of Bradenton, Florida, passed away on December 12, 2019. Visitation will be held from 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 at Bayside Community Church - East Campus, 15800 S.R. 64 E in Bradenton. A memorial service will follow at 11:00 AM. After the service, there will be a procession of emergency vehicles to the Manasota Memorial Park at 1221 53rd Ave E in Bradenton for a graveside service and interment.
Chief Sheffield was born November 15, 1954 in Lakeland, FL where he graduated from Bartow High School in 1972 and Polk Community College in 1981 with an associate’s degree in fire science. He was a firefighter and emergency medical technician with the Highland City Volunteer Fire Department near Bartow, which is now part of Polk County Fire Rescue, where he eventually became the Chief. He also worked for the Polk County Property Appraisers’ Office.
In November 1983, he was hired as the first paid fire chief of the Braden River Fire Control District in eastern Manatee County and moved there with his family. He graduated from the Executive Fire Officers (EFO) program of the National Fire Academy in 1987 and received a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Eckerd College in 1992.
While serving at Braden River, he helped formed the first hazardous materials team in Manatee County and served as a team commander. He was also active with the Manatee County Arson Task Force, Manatee County Fire Mutual Aid Assn, the Managerial Association of Emergency Services, Manatee County Fire Chiefs’ Assn, Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association, International Association of Fire Chiefs, National Fire Protection Association, Florida Forest Service “Red” Incident Management Team (IMT), Florida Emergency Management Division IMT, and served as the County Fire Coordinator for the State Emergency Response Plan. He received many local and state awards and recognition during his career at Braden River, which is now East Manatee Fire Rescue.
After 24 years of service, Chief Sheffield retired in 2007 and accepted a position on staff at the Florida State Fire College in Ocala, FL where he serve in both the Training and Standards Sections until 2014. He returned to Bradenton to work for the Manatee County School District as Coordinator of the Fire Academy at Manatee Technical College - East Campus until his passing.
Chief Sheffield was preceded in death by his mother Elizabeth. He is survived by his loving wife Joyce, son Christopher, daughter Jennifer (Califano), son-in-law Anthony Califano, and granddaughter Audriana Califano, all in the Sarasota/Bradenton area. He is also survived by his father Marlon Sheffield, brother Lanny Sheffield, and sister-in-law Laura Sheffield, all from Lakeland, as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chief Russell Randolph Scholarship Fund in care of the Manatee County Fire Chiefs’ Association, 3200 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, Bradenton, FL 34211.
Chief Russell Randolph Scholarship Fund in Care of the Manatee County Fire Chiefs’ Association
3200 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, Bradenton FL 34211