EMS vehicle and crew now housed at CCFD Station 11
The city of Cape Coral and Lee County have teamed up to add an EMS vehicle at Cape Coral Fire Department Station 11 in the North Cape, a move that officials said looks ahead to the future of the city and its ever-growing population.
Tuesday morning, officials that included Mayor Joe Coviello, County Commissioner Brian Ham-man, CCFD Chief Ryan Lamb, Cape Coral Councilmember Rick Williams and Lee County Public Safety Director and EMS Chief Benjamin Abes, gathered to recognize the co-location of an EMS crew at the Northwest Cape fire station.
“This is a great opportunity for the county and the city of Cape Coral to partner to provide better ambulance service and better fire protection for the residents of Cape Coral,” Hamman said. “This is all part of planning for future growth in the city of Cape Coral and making sure our response times stay very good as we continue to grow.”
This is now the seventh EMS crew to work under the same roof as Cape firefighters. The joint relationship of the agencies is a critical one, officials said.
“This is a welcome addition and a perfect example of when the county and the city work together — some of the positive results that we can get in our community,” Coviello said. “To have this wonderful EMS vehicle here, stationed in our firehouse 11, is a welcome addition because now the response times, when there are emergencies out in this northwest area, which is growing very rapidly, will be a lot faster and a lot quicker.”
Chief Lamb agreed.
“It’s great for our crews to be housed together so they can train together and be prepared to provide high level service,” Lamb said.
Quarterly, Lee County EMS responds to roughly 1,000 critical calls in Northwest Cape Coral. Lee County EMS response time compliance in the North Cape was 91.2 percent according to the most recent information available. The South Cape was at 96 percent for the same time period. Both of these response times exceed standards set, something officials want to keep intact as more and more residents call the city and the booming North Cape home.
“The community is growing very rapidly, and so it’s very important for us to ensure that we’re not just meeting the growth today, but we’re also planning for growth in the future,” Abes said.
Williams, whose district covers the North Cape, was quite pleased to see the addition of an EMS vehicle in the section of Cape Coral he calls home.
“I am delighted, I am absolutely ecstatic we are doing this now,” Williams said. “We have a lot of retirees up in this area. The closeness of the ambulance to the neighborhood is fantastic. All I can say is thank you.”
Hamman said that 88,000 calls are answered each year by Lee County EMS, which now has 43 ambulances county-wide, with 11 in Cape Coral.
Chief Lamb noted that the CCFD answers about 21,500 emergency calls each year, in which 75 percent are EMS based. He also noted that there are about one and a half cardiac arrest events in the city per day.
“Ultimately, paramedics and EMTs can do only so much on-scene. Our goal is to get somebody to definitive care at a hospital, and that’s what these ambulances provide — that ability to get somebody that continuation of care all the way to a hospital” Lamb said. “This is an asset that is going to save lives in Cape Coral.”
Abes and Lamb said they are in constant communication on how to better emergency services to residents of the county, and that the addition of an EMS vehicle to Fire Station 11, which is only a year old, was something discussed before the station opened.
“Anytime we can co-locate, and we can put multiple assets and resources in a single facility, that just makes sense for the taxpayers,” Lamb said.
The station, which is 1,553 square feet, provides full access for EMS to enter and embark from the station. Fire department and EMS personnel will share the facility and amenities at the firehouse that includes sleeping quarters.
With plans to continue to expand emergency services in the city and county, more fire stations and EMS services may be coming in the near future.
“We’ve put this unit in place, but we’re also looking at the continued future,” Abes said. “As the city continues to grow, the county continues to grow, that’s something that we’re going to continue to monitor — those response times and that population growth, and make sure that the service continues to match that growth.”
Fire Station 11 is at 1038 Burnt Store Road, North.
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