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Town/ Beach Fire code pact is official

December 24, 2013
By BOB PETCHER ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The Town of Fort Myers Beach and Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District are teaming up to provide a safer environment for residents and visitors of Estero Island.

Both local governmental agencies have approved to enter an inter-local agreement to work jointly for more effective code enforcement of the applicable fire and life safety codes. The action was taken to allow Beach Fire "an efficient means of obtaining compliance with the codes it is responsible for" while enforcing such codes under Town rule instead of Lee County rule, which was the case before the pact.

The FMB Town Council unanimously approved the agreement last Monday evening and Beach Fire Board of Commissioners followed suit the next evening. Combining personnel on the Beach front and the process on the Town front equals a total package.

Article Photos

Commendation went to several fire fighters/ paramedics for a pre-hospital save that occurred on Jan. 5. Pictured are (l to r) Capt. Randy Kraus, Capt. Joe Reed. FF Joseph Devito, FF Alejandro Gonzalez, FF Rafael Suarez, FF Carlos Miranda and Chief Darren White.

"The purpose of all this is the District has certified inspectors, while the Town had the code enforcement aspect in place," said Beach Fire Attorney Richard Pringle. "The inter-local agreement combines those two together so now our inspectors can be code enforcement officers for the Town and use process in place."

Before the inter-local agreement, Beach Fire officials could not enforce any violation it wrote.

"Right now, we can go out and do our fire inspection and notate violations but, when it comes to asking enforcement, we don't have a process," Beach Fire Chief Darren White said to Town Council members before the pact was finalized last week. "This enables to use have that process using the Town's code enforcement process."

The agreement involves the fire marshal and fire safety inspectors (or designees) receiving proper training in Lee County citation procedure for code enforcement officers and any training the Town requires of its code enforcement officers. It is effective for five years, shall terminate five years from the effective date and either party can unilaterally cancel it upon providing advance written notice 30 days prior to the other party.

The town manager and fire chief (or designees) will be responsible for further coordination of the permitting process. Changes may be made by mutual written agreement or memorandum as necessary.

White is one of the designated individuals to act as code inspectors for Beach Fire. The others are Assistant Fire Chief Tom May, Fire Marshal Capt. Ronald Martin, Fire Safety Inspector William Genevrino and Fire Safety Inspector Regan Bauman.

Beach Fire officials believe the partnership with Town officials will result in a positive working relationship and a win-win for all others involved.

"This is truly reflective of a legislative intent to handle these matters at the most basic of level of government," said Martin.

Fire Commission selects officers

The Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District Board of Commissioners elected its board officers for the next year.

David Brower was re-elected to chairman, while Ted Schindler was elected to vice chairman. Betty Goodacre was re-elected to secretary/treasurer.

Fire Commission selects meeting and workshop information

The Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District Board of Commissioners have decided to hold its 2014 commission meetings every third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. -one hour early than its 2013 meetings- at Town Hall in Council Chambers. Due to a conflict, it will have the following meetings at Fire Station #31: Jan. 21, Feb. 18, Sept. 16.

The commission workshops were decided to be held on the first Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. at the Town Hall in Council Chambers. Due to a conflict with the Sept. 2 workshop at that location, that particular workshop will be held at Fire Station #31.

District employees receive commendation

The Fort Myers Beach Fire Control District commended 21 of its fire fighters/ paramedics for being involved with saving three human lives by bringing them back from cardiac arrest in 2013.

Beach Medical Officer Capt. Randy Kraus reported that the national average rate for out-of hospital successful resuscitation is 28 percent, while the Beach Fire Department has a success rate of 42 percent.

The first pre-hospital save within District boundaries occurred on Jan. 5 with Ambulance #32 and Engine #32 responding to a 71-year-old male at San Carlos RV Park. District employees honored at that scene were Capt. Joe Reed, Firefighter/EMT Paul Russell, Firefighter/Paramedic Raphael Suarez, Firefighter/Paramedic Joseph Devito, Firefighter/Paramedic Alejandro Gonzales and Firefighter/Paramedic Carlos Miranda.

The second pre-hospital save within District boundaries occurred on Feb. 18 with Iona McGregor Fire Department Engine #75 and Beach Ambulance #32 responding to a 62-year-old male on Bubble Shell Dr. in Fort Myers. Employees of both units honored at that scene were Firefighter/EMT Drew Perry, Engineer Michael Quilton, Lieutenant Martin Halahan, Firefighter/Paramedic Troy Likeness, Firefighter/Paramedic Daniel Batista, Firefighter/Paramedic Alejandro Gonzales and Firefighter/Paramedic Carlos Miranda.

The third pre-hospital save within District boundaries occurred on Sept. 6 with Ambulance #33, Engine #31 and Truck #33 responding to a 65-year-old female at the patient's daughter's wedding at Point Estero. District employees honored at that scene were Capt. Ivan Bestrom, Capt. Terry Brunson, Firefighter/EMT Eric Cook, Firefighter/EMT Shawn Jensen, Firefighter/Paramedic Jennifer Gordon and Firefighter/EMT Jeff Plybon.

"This group had a profound effect on these people's lives," said Kraus. "They are able to spend the holidays with their loved ones. You guys should be proud of everything you did. We really appreciate it."

"There is nothing better than the euphoria you get from saving a life," added Fire Commissioner Ted Schindler.



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