DUNEDIN — Whether they are responding to calls at 1 a.m. about an elderly woman who fell out of a bed or a burning structure, firefighters such as Lt. George Treubig know "your body has got to get up and you got to get attuned to it."

Those were words from Dunedin Fire Chief Jeff Parks as he commented on Treubig's dedication to his job since he became a Dunedin firefighter Jan. 9, 1991.

"For 30 years, he has done that, so I take my hat off to him for that," Parks said at the Jan. 19 City Commission meeting.

Commissioners that evening proclaimed Jan. 31, 2021, as George Treubig Day in Dunedin in honor of the firefighter, who is retiring soon.

Commissioner Moe Freaney was a city official at the time he was hired.

"We've been through a lot. There's some really tender stories and funny stories, but you have always cared about Dunedin and you've always cared about the fire service," Freaney said.

Commissioner John Tornga added: "Your character as an individual and your integrity you've shown as a person is incredible."

City Manager Jennifer Bramley congratulated Treubig and thanked him for his mentorship to other firefighters.

"I'm sure there were plenty of long nights, lots of storms where you were out of the house for days and days and days," Bramley said.

Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski said Treubig has shown great tenacity on behalf of his colleagues while representing them for the firefighters' union.

"Nobody can say otherwise," she said.

Communication is really important, and he left that legacy for other firefighters, Bujalski said.

"Kind of the hallmark of a small town is when you have employees who work for you this long," she said.

Treubig said he's had a great career.

"I worked with a bunch of great people, and I look forward to the next chapter," said Treubig, with his wife, Patricia, standing nearby that evening.

Treubig was promoted to lieutenant on Feb. 9, 2002. He was selected firefighter of the year for 2003-2004.

Donations for land acquisition continue

In other matters, Bramley said that about 300 financial donations have been made since a press conference Dec. 30 for the acquisition of the Douglas-Hackworth property.

The amount is about $100,000, she said.

"Which is a lot; I mean that's a lot of community push for this property," she said.

The contract with a housing developer fell through and the estate gave the city and county until Jan. 31 to put together an offer to buy the property.

"The clock is definitely ticking," she said.

County, city and community leaders announced Dec. 30 that they are closing in on acquiring the Douglas-Hackworth property, but they need the public to put up another $2.5 million in order to make it happen.

Using a combination of taxpayer money and public funds, the city of Dunedin and Pinellas County have offered to purchase the 44-acre property at the corner of Virginia Avenue and Keene Road for $8 million.

On Dec. 29, Nathan Hightower, the trustee for the estate of Gladys Douglas, rejected that offer and said the estate would not sell the property for less than $10 million, Bramley said during a virtual news conference.

To donate visit https://pinellascf.org/save-the-gladys-douglas-preserve.