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Fire commission funds radio tower, moves up meeting time

By Staff | Jan 14, 2019

TIFFANY REPECKI The Sanibel Fire and Rescue District's commissioners voted unanimously to approve a resolution to fund the replacement radio tower at Station 172 during their Jan. 9 monthly meeting.

At its recent meeting, the Sanibel Fire and Rescue District’s commission approved funding for a replacement radio tower at Station 172, as well as voted to change the time of its meetings.

On Jan. 9, Commissioners Bruce Cochrane, Jerry Muench and Richard McCurry voted 3-0 unanimously for a resolution to approve up to $80,000 for the new tower. The funding will cover $55,490 for the installation, extra antennas, grounding and permit fees, as well as charge from Motorola, plus $17, 369 for the necessary tower sections, freight and assembly hardware.

The commission also voted 3-0 to move its meeting time from 1 p.m. to 9 a.m.

During the meeting, Assistant Fire Chief William Briscoe reported that he is preparing to look into companies to replace the water-damaged interior drywall at Station 172, the result of a roof leak.

“I’ll be working on that the next couple of weeks,” he said.

He added that there were minor “cosmetic” things to taken care of with it.

Briscoe also told the commissioners that both generators required repairs, with one having a rusted piece and the other needing more extensive service due to a pinhole, which is estimated to cost $1,600. He added that both generators will likely be refueled by March, in preparation for the storm season.

“We try to make sure it’s 80 percent full for hurricane season,” Briscoe said.

In addition, the fire boat is being worked on and is expected to be done in about two weeks.

Fire Chief Matt Scott reported that the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation recently stopped by about receiving the donated parts from the district’s old truck. He added that they are “ecstatic.”

“They’ll take it as soon as possible,” Scott said.

In the past, the district donated an old truck to SCCF.

Briscoe provided an update on training and education for Training Officer Capt. Tim Barrett, who was attending a work-related training event. He said the staff completed 7,125 hours of training in 2018.

“So a significant amount of hours for 21 guys,” Briscoe said.

Training has centered around pre-hospital medical and trauma, plus hazardous materials.


– The following employees were recognized for their years of service to the district: Capt. Tom Tracy for 20 years; Briscoe for 18 years; firefighter-paramedic Rob Doerr for 18 years; Lt. John DiMaria for 10 years; firefighter-EMT Carl Johanson for six years; and firefighter-paramedic Cliff Steele for six years.

– The district responded to 130 calls for service in November, as compared to 108 calls in the same month in the prior year. There were 130 calls in December, as compared to 139 in December of 2017.

As for year-over-year totals, there were 99 more calls last year than compared to 2017.