Fire Chief Given Thumbs Up


Six months after taking the job of Fire Chief of the Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District, Matthew Love, received the unanimous approval of the Board of Commissioners for the job he’s done with the district to date.

The contract for the Fire Chief called for a 6-month appraisal focused on whether he’s achieved a satisfactory or better rating for his probationary period, Fire Board Chair Carol Morris explained.

“I’m very encouraged by all the new things happening in the district and feel the chief has been instrumental in those,” said Commissioner Larry Wood. “As some firefighters have said, ‘he’s the real deal.’”

Commissioner Bob Raymond commented on the improved morale of staff, while Commissioner Ted Schindler said that the board had searched for a leader and got one.

“Matt, you’re a heck of a leader,” Schindler said.

Commissioner John Pohland rated Love’s work, ‘way beyond satisfactory.’

Morris noted that some commissioners have met individually with Love and talked about what they’d like to see in the future, adding that she was ‘well pleased with what we’ve seen so far.’

During the Chief’s Report, Love praised the implementation of full fire sprinkler systems at the Lani Kai Resort and Beached Whale Restaurant, noting his appreciation of the efforts of the business community to retrofit fire sprinklers, making the community a safe place to live and visit.

Earlier this month Love attended the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau 2016 E Awards – Elaine McLaughlin Outstanding Hospitality Awards Presentation where six members of the FMBFCD received the Good Samaritan Award: Battalion Chief Tom Grow, Captain Terry Brunson, Engineer Andres Vila, Firefighters Darwin Adames, Billy Galewski and Oscar Gonzalez for their assistance in helping a Make-A-Wish child enjoy a very special day at the beach.

During August the FMBFCD responded to 207 incidents: 69% EMS, 19% Good Intent, 9% Service and 3% Fire. The average response time was 4:23. ‘Good Intent’ includes situations where someone calls 911 and it isn’t actually an emergency. The ‘Service’ category includes calls for help that are not EMS or fire related.

The FMBFCD Board of Commissioners will hold their Final Budget Hearing on Wednesday, September 28th at 6pm at Town Hall. On Tuesday, October 4th they will hold a bi-monthly board meeting at Station 31, 3043 Estero Blvd. A copy of the 2016/2017 Proposed Budget is available on the district’s website:


Missy Layfield