Fire Board Recognizes Staff

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The Board of Fire Commissioners of the Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District met Tuesday, February 16, 2016 for their regular monthly meeting, recognizing staff and discussing staffing levels.

During the Chief’s Report, Interim Chief Tom May recognized several district employees for service above and beyond by issuing “On the Spot” awards to Firefighters David Beers, Pat Ahern, Jen Gordon, Marvin Ady, Jeff Plybon, Troy Mesick, Chris Armiger and Todd Williamson; Engineer Todd Williamson; Captains JP Duncan and Chris Morgani and Battalion Chief Tom Grow

May also recognized three employees for their years of service: Engineer Jeff Plybon – 26 years; Firefighter Tate Sturtevant – 10 years and Firefighter Andres Vila – 10 years.

The emergency response vehicle to be used for beach rescues and in the Estero Road construction zone should be ready by the beginning of March. The board approved $30,000 for the vehicle to improve access to those requiring emergency medical assistance in crowded situations where an ambulance is unable to fit, such as beach access points and crowded roads due to road construction traffic back ups.

Report on emergency response data for January shows 215 calls for assistance with 142 patient transports. The average response time was 6:55, with response times in the road construction zone averaging between 5:22-6:15.

Minimum staffing levels were discussed after Chair Morris indicated she had heard from district staff that had some questions about them. Earlier this month, minimum staffing was increased to 14 members per shift, after fluctuating over the last three years between 11 and 14 members per shift. Morris told May that she expects the board to be consulted when staffing levels change.

“The need for how many people you have out there is an operational decision. The money that supports that is financial and should come to the board.”

When May asked if the board wanted him to lower staffing from 14/shift, Morris told him that he should bring information back to the board after a planned operational meeting.

With Matthew Love expected to take the reins as Fire Chief on March 21, 2016 and many decisions being tabled until Love begins, Interim Chief Tom May discussed with the board whether he should step back to his role as Assistant Chief now. No action was taken and May remains Interim Chief.

The next Fire Board meeting will be held on March 1, 2016 at 10am at Station 31, 3043 Estero Blvd.

Missy Layfield