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Fire commissioners OK truck tires, station painting

By TIFFANY REPECKI / trepecki@breezenewspapers.com - | Jan 26, 2021

The Sanibel Fire and Rescue District’s commission approved two resolutions at its recent meeting, along with learned about the selection of a new deputy fire chief to be appointed next month.

On Jan. 13, Fire Chief William “Bill” Briscoe reported that he put out a letter of interest seeking candidates for his former position and was excited to announce Capt. Kevin Barbot would be the new second-in-command. Marking 10 years with the district last June, he will be appointed on Feb. 1.

“Kevin is one squared away guy,” Division Chief of Training Tim Barrett said. “He’ll do a fine job.”

Briscoe continued that he has advertised for new hires and, moving forward, the district will do it differently. In addition, an internal memo was sent out for the promotion of a captain and lieutenant.

“I waited until Feb. 1 to promote Kevin,” he said. “This is the best time to get him up to speed and for the hiring board to be developed.”

Also during the meeting, the commissioners unanimously approved two resolutions 3-0.

Prior to the vote on the first one, Briscoe explained that the brush truck needs new tires. Staff had discovered that two tires are 10 years old and the other two are a few years away from replacement. The commission approved purchasing four tires from the Boulevard Tire Center for about $7,268.

Briscoe then discussed the district’s facilities and maintenance, explaining that a lot of painting has been going on at Station 171. Asked if he was satisfied with the job, he said yes. Briscoe then presented a resolution for the same vendor, Barefoot Charley’s Painting, to do Station 172 at a cost of $2,750.


– Briscoe discussed the CARES Act funds that were recently made available through Lee County. He explained that the district applied for and received just over $41,000, leaving about $2,000 on the table.

“If we couldn’t justify it, we didn’t ask for it,” he said,

– Barrett reported that the crew’s recent training has focused on fire drills. In addition, they were meeting with the Captiva Island Fire Control District during the week to discuss mutual aid.

“We are going over what our role would be if we respond in Captiva, or their role if they respond to Sanibel,” he said.

– Division Chief of Prevention Larry Williams reported that annual inspections are going well.

“I called Florida Fire Service and got them set up to do the painting on the hydrants. They completed 200, but have 240 more to do,” he added. “They are ordering paint and started on the east end.”

The district responded to 124 calls in December, compared to 121 calls last year. The district has responded to a total of 1,466 calls this year, compared to 1,618 calls for the same time period in 2019.

“We are behind, but considering everything that happened with reduced tourism, it makes sense,” Briscoe said.

– The following personnel were recognized for their years of service: Tom Tracy for 23 years; Briscoe for 21 years; Robert Doerr for 21 years; Carl Johanson for nine years; and Cliffe Steele for nine years.