Battalion chief recognized
Battalion Chief Alan Carter spent his first couple of years with the Cape Coral Fire Department serving as a firefighter in the operations division.
In 1993, he decided to focus on prevention rather than suppression.
“No. 1 is to save lives, No. 2 is to protect property,” Carter said. “There’s countless lives and properties saved by doing inspections.”
Nearly two decades later, a local organization has recognized him for his passion and cumulative work with the CCFD’s Division of Life Safety.
On April 11, the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution’s Caloosa Chapter presented Carter with the SAR Fire Safety Commendation and medal. The local chapter is made up of members from Lee and Hendry.
“It’s a way of recognizing those who serve the citizenry,” President Randy Moody said. “To specifically honor someone in the public service profession.”
The organization has three public safety commendations that it bestows.
“Law enforcement, fire and EMS,” he said. “We give out one of each every year, and we rotate around to the various departments (in Lee and Hendry).”
The commendations are handed out to those who have done a “major significant act” or who have contributed over the course of their career.
“Cumulative service to the community over a long period of time,” he said.
According to Moody, the final approval comes from the chapter’s board, but the head of the chosen public service agency can offer a recommendation.
Fire Chief Bill Van Helden put Carter’s name on the table.
“While operations is typically recognized for their efforts in extinguishing fires and rescuing people, fire prevention is not as much,” Van Helden said.
“But there have been many lives, we know, that are saved through our fire prevention efforts and our fire prevention program,” he added. “I just want to commend Alan for his great work, and the whole fire prevention bureau.”
Moody said the recommendation was well received by the board.
“We were very pleased with the recommendation and thought it was well deserved,” he said of Carter. “The long tenure of service and his passion for public safety – one of the things he pushes for is fire safety education.”
Carter learned about the commendation just days before receiving it.
“I’m very pleased to get this recognition, especially in fire prevention,” he said, adding that the life safety division is “just trying to make a change.”
“I do this job because of dedication,” Carter said. “If we receive some acknowledgement, that’s great. But, I’m just pleased to do it.”
Carter began his career at the North Fort Myers Fire Control District, where he served for about 18 months before transferring to the Cape in 1987. He put in about six years before moving into fire prevention as a fire inspector.
Carter worked up the ladder, eventually becoming head of the division.
In October, he will celebrate 25 years with the Cape department.
“It’s just a great great organization,” he said. “It’s been very rewarding. I strongly feel that we’re making a change.”
Carter is also the Lee County Fire Marshal’s Association vice president.