New Fire Chief, Matthew Love, to Start March 16th: New Fire Ordinance Hearing February 2nd



Matthew Love will take the reins of the Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District as Fire Chief on March 16th, according to Board of Fire Commissioner Chair Carol Morris. He was the board’s unanimous selection on January 5th and since then Morris explained that she and the board’s attorney have come to agreement with Love on the terms of his contract, though it will not be signed until his arrival on March 16th due to the need for witnessed signatures. She did not want to reveal the exact amount of compensation agreed to, but indicated it was within the range advertised with the position, $115,000-$135,000, and more than former Chief Darren White was paid.

The Fire Board meeting Tuesday evening began with Interim Chief Tom May presenting a Fire Ax to David Reno, who retired from the district in early November. May praised Reno’s efforts with the district, explaining that he joined the district as a reserve firefighter in February 1985, becoming a full time firefighter within his first year and then rising through the ranks, finishing his 30 years with the district as a Captain. “He’s been one of my go-to guys. I wish Dave and Sandra, his wife, the very best and happiness in the future,” said May.

During the Chief’s Report, May praised district staff for their participation in numerous community events. He indicated that the second surplus ambulance had been sold for $18,000 and a Quick Response Vehicle has been purchased and is now being customized. Delivery will be in approximately 4 weeks.

Human Resources Director Tammy Peacock thanked the members of the interview committee who chose 6 new firefighters out of 11 finalists. She also recognized several district employees for their years of service: Firefighter (FF) Pat Ahern 19 years, Capt. Tory Vagle 19 years, FF Todd Williamson 10 years, Tammy Peacock 8 years, FF Jeff Lundy 3 years, FF Ben Glenn 3 years and Fire Prevention Specialist Lloyd Adams 1 year.

Fire Safety Ordinance 2016-01 was discussed briefly and the board decided to advertise the Feb 2nd Public Hearing in the local daily as required by state law, plus local papers so that residents are aware that the ordinance will be voted on by the Fire Board.

The Fire Safety Ordinance calls for registration and inspection of “all Transient, Vacation, Short-Term, Timeshare Rentals, and Non-Owner Occupied Two Family Homes” in the district. Properties will be required to post occupant load signage and be made available for Fire Inspection on 30-day notice.

Fire Code Violations that are deemed “imminent hazards” must be abated within 72 hours. Other violations must be abated within 45 days unless a mitigation plan is accepted by the district.

Registration fee is $25. Inspection and re-inspection fees will be as per the District’s Fee Schedule. Non-compliance comes at a cost. First offense results in a written warning. Second offense $250; third $500. Fourth offense results in the notification of the state Division of Business and Professional Regulation.

Excluded from this ordinance are homes NOT advertised as Transient, Vacation, Short-Term or Timeshare rentals and two family homes where the owner occupies one unit for a minimum of 6 months/year.

The Fire Board will hold a hearing on this ordinance at Fire Station 31, 3043 Estero Blvd at 10am on Tuesday, February 2, 2016. A copy of the ordinance is available at the Fire District Administration, 100 Voorhis St, Fort Myers Beach and will be available on the district’s website,

Missy Layfield