I am writing this letter to add to the accolades of FMB Fire District Chief Matthew Love and provide a little history. Love was recently recognized by his peers as a great Fire Chief.
His selection about 3 years ago as a new FMB chief was not an easy one – it was long and arduous, not to mention controversial. As some of you may recall, the previous chiefs for the most part were chosen from the then current staffing. This provided a checkered past of scandals, leading to firing, resignations and finally non-renewal of a contract.
Numerous local articles commented about the revolving door of this important leadership position. Also, this part of the department’s history was the brunt of many jokes by many of the county’s other local districts. Note these are now the folks giving kudus to Chief Love. The latter illustrates the phenomenal turnaround at FMBFD.
How was Chief Love selected? Not without her own controversy, former District Commissioner Chair Carol Morris took the bull by the horns, and although advised by many not to, she did not renew the contract of the then chief. She and the board were threatened with lawsuits but that had happened before! BTW, the suit was dismissed.
She initiated a search out of the district, in fact out of the state. Many qualified prospects were interviewed and rated by the board (I was vice-chair at that time), but one young man outshone the others – Matthew Love.
Chief Love realigned management, improved morale and developed financial and other short/long-term plans. Now the District is recognized as the model for the county. Other districts are trying to emulate the beach – no longer the brunt of their jokes.
Thanks to Chief Love for his absolutely outstanding leadership!
Fort Myers Beach