Ask the Candidate


Fort Myers Beach Fire District Seat 2

 In preparation for the November 8th election, the Sand Paper has contacted candidates for select offices with questions regarding a topic of interest to Island residents over the past few weeks. This week we feature the responses of the two candidates for Fort Myers Beach Fire Board Seat 2 to a second and final question:

The Fire District has enhanced its prevention role with the Property Registration Ordinance. Are there any other areas where the district might expand their community outreach and education program? 


Ron Fleming’s response:

In order to determine how the fire district may expand its community outreach and educational programs, the first step is to understand what the organization currently is doing and how is it doing it. A benchmark of current activities is fixed along with the resources required to successfully achieve the particular goal. Subsequently, progress or lack thereof can be established with appropriate corrections enacted.

I met with leaders of our community to hear their praise and concerns for our firefighters. Among those I interviewed to research this question were Fire Chief Matt Love, Beach Library Director Dr. Leroy Hommerding, Beach Elementary School Principal Jeff Dobbins, and Dr. Stephen Adkinson, Pastor of Chapel by the Sea.

High marks were awarded to the fire prevention staff and the line firefighters. Currently, training in CPR and AED is conducted. The firefighters are very proactive with our elementary school teaching and demonstrating fire safety.

I resolutely believe that each member of the board of fire commissioners has an obligation and duty to demonstrate leadership by being focused and aggressive in developing partnerships with community stakeholders district wide. New and improved relationships are essential for both programs to grow.

All organizations, including ours, notwithstanding their expertise and efficiency, continuously must advance. To do otherwise is the beginning of the demise of that organization. All services, emergency or administrative, productive or deficient, bring a cost. The expected level of improvement in community outreach programs and education must be weighted as to its efforts, benefits and cost.


John Pohland’s response:

We on the Fire Commission, are very proud that the Fire District has enhanced its prevention role with the Property Registration Ordinance. However, it is important that we continually evaluate the effectiveness of the process in order to improve and expand it.

The district is engaged in other community outreach programs. Fire Safety is one such program- it included several days educating at Times Square, the Beach school and Pirate Fest. Our district has just completed its Fire Safety week. At Santini Plaza and Pirate Fest a public education safety building was demonstrating home fire issues.

During this past year CPR and AED public training occurred at several churches, businesses and condos on the Beach. Our District’s goal includes being a “Heart Safety District.” I will advocate to expand this program by inventorying all AED’s in our fire district and publishing a map of all their locations. Additionally, the locations need to be visible and easily found.

I believe deeply in educational programming; an informed community is a community that is a safer community. I am committed to working with my colleagues on the Fire Commission and community members to design and conduct other important and critical safety educational programs.