Saturday, September 21, 2019

Fitness on the Force: above and beyond the call of duty

Left to right, Jim Pope, Steve Fickling, Heath Nagel, Dean Heasley, Nelson Ramirez, Chris Bowden, Clifton Steele, Albert Munoz.

Left to right, Jim Pope, Steve Fickling, Heath Nagel, Dean Heasley, Nelson Ramirez, Chris Bowden, Clifton Steele, Albert Munoz.

The Marco Island Firefighters depend on one another in life threatening situations. We, the people, depend on these emergency personnel in life threatening situations. How often, though, does the cynical taxpayer wonder how many fires actually occur on Marco Island? Although one is one too many, one might ask, how many life threatening situations are there, really? Marco Firefighters, though, in fact do so much more than fulfill the stereotype picture of the firemen in the fire truck rushing to the nearest blaze.

They need to have absolute trust in one another’s instantaneous decision making capability, physical strength, mental alertness and knowledge of saving people. Interviewing many of Marco’s firefighters for the Coastal Breeze News this past year, I have found the quality, the loyalty and desire to learn has been without doubt, superb and truly admirable. Each and every one of the firefighters I interviewed expressed a deep bond and trust with those with whom they work.

Taken from the Fire-Rescue Newsletter: did you know that Fire Rescue personnel responded to a plane crash six miles south of Goodland? The newsletter describes the rescue, noting, “Personnel utilized the fire rescue vessel to reach the six victims of the crash and initiated medical treatment upon arrival. Personnel transported the patients to Caxambas Park for triage and transport to the Hospital.”

Did you know that Captain Tom Bogan was selected City of Marco Island June Employee of the Month because he

Dan Stoller, Christian Holmes and Eddie Cabal. Photo by Jeane Brennan

Dan Stoller, Christian Holmes and Eddie Cabal. Photo by Jeane Brennan

was the boat operator in which three persons were rescued from an overturned vessel during inclement weather? He was also part of the rescue team assisting the plane crash casualties.

Did you know that, in one week, under the category of Incident Call types there were: 2 cardiac, 4 general illness, 2 diabetic emergency, 2 respiratory, 12 trauma, 2 falls and 2 “abdominal pain.”  There was 1 allergic reaction, 3 wildland fires, 18 emergency medical, 2 vehicle accidents, 1 plane crash, 1 hazardous condition, 2 good intent, 2 service calls and 9 fire alarms. Also, the Fire Prevention Division fielded 91 phone calls relating to fire prevention, construction, inspections code inquiries, life safety issues, and code research. The Fire Marshall is addressing the issue of elevator upgrades requiring fire alarm upgrades, and so far 36 buildings have been surveyed.

Fireman Fitness not only depends on working out by stretching and exercising muscles, joints and the heart. The men who protect us, who put their lives on the line for us, continually train to become better in all manner of safety and emergency response. Hazmat certification, boat/rescue, the many medical venues, and learning specialized equipment are all areas in which our emergency personnel need to know and perform with confidence. And above all, obvious in the Marco Island Fire Fighters realm is their strength of working as a cohesive team. And the glue that holds them together? Their trust in one another.

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