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Fire Station 11 to also house ambulance crew

By Staff | Dec 19, 2019

Lee County will station an additional ambulance and crew in the city of Cape Coral, bringing the total to seven.

The Lee County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday approved an interlocal agreement that allows Lee County Emergency Medical Service equipment and staffing to now be stationed in the northwest Cape.

The ambulance will be housed at 1038 Burnt Store Road North, which is Fire Station No. 11.

This expansion will provide closer emergency medical services to the Burnt Store Road corridor, north to Burnt Store Marina, county officials said.

City fire officials said Thursday it’s part of an ongoing partnership that is working well, allowing the agencies to provide better — and quicker — services within the city.

“As the eighth largest municipality in the state, there is a continuing need to match population growth and service response,” said Cape Coral Fire Department Chief Ryan Lamb in a telephone interview.

“It will allow us to get residents in need of medical care to the hospital a lot quicker.”

The CCFD is equipped to provide advanced life support services from nine of its 11 fire stations with plans, Council approval pending, to upgrade its remaining two stations to that level of emergency services capability, he said.

Half of the CCFD’s firefighting personnel are crosstrained with paramedic certification; the other half are crosstrained with EMT certification.

The department, on average, receives 60 medical-related calls for service per day, typically two of them cardiac arrests.

CCFD personnel are often the first on scene and can provide all emergency aid services except one: They cannot transport those injured or ill. For that, ambulances are required.

They can, and often do, supplement the two-member ambulance team if an additional paramedic is required for transport in addition to the responder and driver provided by Lee County.

“It is truely a team effort when it’s a medical emergency and it’s all hands on deck,” Lamb said.

“While it’s two different agencies it’s our sole focus to provide a high level of service to our residents.”

Under the arrangement, county and city personnel are housed in the same facility.

Station 11, which is 1,553 square feet, will provide access for county EMS to have full ability to enter and exit from the station and garage, as well as shared use of the break room/TV room, kitchen, restrooms, gym and sleeping quarters, which consists of two dedicated individual private bedrooms. The agreement also includes the city granting the county an enclosed apparatus bay, half bay, for emergency vehicles and on-site parking spaces for personnels’ personal vehicles.

The additional facility rental is $20,189 per year, which brings the total yearly rental cost to $128,189 for all seven stations.

The interlocal agreement between Lee County and the city of Cape Coral was executed in 2018 for Emergency Medical Services staff to use shared space at six fire stations. Those include EMS Station 4, 24610 Coronado Parkway.; EMS Station 14, 4107 Pelican Blvd.; EMS Station 24, 1029 Diplomat Parkway; EMS Station 28, 707 SW 1st St.; EMS Station 30, 1627 Everest Parkway and EMS Station 36, 4540 Chiquita Blvd.

The agreement will remain unchanged for five years, with up to five, one-year renewal periods, which began Dec. 18, 2018. At the second year of the initial term, and annually after, the rent will increase by 2 percent per year.