Rotary Happenings: Division chief shares details about fire district
Many Sanibelians have, at one time or another, interacted with members of the Sanibel Fire and Rescue District. It could have been during a medical emergency, a training offered at their station or your place of business, or at an event that they allowed to be hosted at their station. But one thing is for sure, you would have been greeted with a smiling face and treated as family. This is our fire district.
At the recent Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club’s Zoom meeting, Rotarians had the opportunity to speak with Division Chief of Training Tim Barrett. He is responsible for training employees in every facet of our emergency response. This includes fire suppression, emergency medical (both advanced and basic), water rescue, confined space, and hazardous materials. Barrett holds certifications as a fire officer II, fire service instructor II, live fire instructor, CPR instructor, ACLS instructor, PAL instructor and PHTLS instructor, as well as others.
In a mostly question-and answer forum, Barrett educated the club members about things like “a day in the life of a firefighter,” ways to prevent forest fires from becoming house fires, and how they deal with the seasonal crawling traffic. One way the district battles the heavy seasonal traffic is that there are at least two paramedics and probably an EMT on each fire truck, which has as much life-saving equipment as the ambulance that comes from Lee County; there is no wait time for someone needing medical assistance.
The district also offers CPR and first aid/AED and fire extinguisher training, free welfare checks and assistance to those who need help descending stairs after a surgery, or when the elevator has had enough of the salt air and refuses to work. It also partners with many of the local groups to offer free life vests with the America’s Boating Club of Sanibel-Captiva (formerly the Sanibel Captiva Sail & Power Squadron) and it receives and sanitizes the used handicap equipment that is distributed by F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva.
One thing is for sure, Sanibel is blessed to have these men and women who are willing to risk their lives for our health and safety on a daily basis, and do it with professionalism and a confidence that will calm any situation. Be sure to remember our first responders, especially during these hard times.
In light of COVID-19, the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club is meeting on Fridays at 7 a.m. via Zoom. To take part or for more information, visit sanibelrotary.org or www.facebook.com/sancaprotary.