Fire chief reports on possible reserve apparatus recipient
The Sanibel Fire and Rescue District’s commission was updated on the possible donation of the old truck to an agency in need at its recent meeting, as well as heard about the union negotiations.
On June 19, Fire Chief Matt Scott reported that he had reached out to fire districts and departments within the Florida Panhandle to see if any impacted by Hurricane Michael were interested in accepting Sanibel’s old reserve apparatus as a donation. He had proposed the idea of donating the truck at the last meeting after explaining to the commissioners that the district would likely get nothing for a payout.
“Only one person expressed interest,” Scott said in his update.
He reported that the Liberty County fire coordinator responded to the offer, speaking on behalf of Estiffanulga – an unincorporated community in the county. Estiffanulga has a volunteer fire department and an annual budget of $15,000, Scott said. Its fire station and engine were damaged in the storm.
“They’re newest engine is over 40 years old,” he added.
Scott noted that he also spoke to Upper Captiva as requested, but it was not interested.
“I think that’s a great idea, so let’s continue pursuing that,” Commissioner Bruce Cochrane said of putting together a proposal to donate the truck to the Estiffanulga department.
The other commissioners agreed.
Also at the meeting, Scott told the commission that the district had received the information it requested from the union and he and the administrative staff were working on the numbers.
“So we can make the best decision,” Scott said.
He added that the next meeting with the union is set for July 8.
“So we could potentially close this out at the next meeting?” Commissioner Richard McCurry asked.
“Potentially? Yes,” Scott said.
During the meeting, Assistant Fire Chief William Briscoe reported that a committee of district employees is being formed to work out the specifications for the new fire boat. Some members have already been contacting several boat manufacturers, providing them with the dimensions for it.
“We’re giving them the basic ideas of what we want,” he said.
One committee member was present for the meeting.
“We’ve got some good options right now,” he told the commissioners.
Aimed for inclusion in the fiscal year 2019-2020 budget, the new boat will replace the district’s current vessel. The existing boat, a 1997 model, was a “demo” that was bought used in fiscal year 2010-2011.
The district has applied for a West Coast Inland Navigation District grant to help pay for it.
IN OTHER NEWS
– The commission voted 2-0 to approve the purchase of a 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe for $23,268 after trading in the district’s 2016 Ford Focus for $8,000. It will serve as the deputy chief’s vehicle.
– The commission voted 2-0 adopt and set in place the employee policy handbook.
– Scott introduced the commission to a new administrative staff member, Samantha Quinn, and recently new firefighter Bryan Clement, who started in April.
– The district responded to 131 calls for service in May, as compared to 138 calls during the same month last year. The year-over-year numbers are 859 calls for 2019, versus 891 calls for 2018.