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Fire district swears in five new fire crew members

July 4, 2018
By MELISSA BILL (news@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District began its monthly meeting with the swearing in of five new firefighters.

The new hires mark another step toward the department getting its force back to where it was prior to 2009, when 125 filled positions were reduced to 106.

Other agenda items were the authorization of capital and non-capital purchases by Chief Robert DiLallo.

"Basically we updated a resolution that spells out what I was allowed to purchase in cases of emergency or disasters. During Hurricane Imra I was very limited on capital item needs and could not make purchases even for an emergency unless it's approved during one of our regular monthly meetings," said DiLallo.

According to DiLallo, this update will now allow him to make emergency purchases by first notifying the commissioners and then bring up the necessary purchases before the board to be approved during their next regularly scheduled meeting.

"For instance if an air conditioner breaks, I have the authority to get it fixed or purchase a new one. This would have saved us a lot of time when we needed the temporary trailers for the fire crews post Hurricane Irma.

The authorization would however not be applicable for normal capital or non-capital spending abilities.

The board also approved a policy revision that dealt with the job description for their current Finance Manager, Anita Kressel.

"We have been in the process of updating each position within the fire district. This was just a motion to adopt a new format for her job description," DiLallo said.

Under unfinished business was the creation of a legislation to amend Chapter 191, Florida Statutes. The district's legal counsel, Attorney Richard Pringle, was previously looking into options on how to amend their current methodology, which designates what officials say are extremely low fees to the numerous empty lots in Lehigh Acres.

"The commissioners decided to table the discussion until a further date," said DiLallo.

During the meeting, Commissioner Carter also took the time to present the district with a special clock designed with the Lehigh Acres Fire District's logo.

Outside of the regular agenda items, staff and crew members continue to pray for one the own who suffered a massive medical emergency at the fire station.

Earlier in the month, Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District Engineer Rick Pride was resuscitated after going into sudden cardiac arrest. Crews at the station acted immediately and were successfully able to save Pride and transport him to Gulf Coast Hospital.

Pride spent 14 days in the ICU, fighting for his life and is now slowly improving daily but is still listed in stable condition. He has a long road to recovery, but crew members and staff are very hopeful for a full recovery.

The following tentative dates were set and approved for the budget workshops; July 24 at 4 p.m. and Aug. 7 at 4 p.m.

The Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District holds its regular meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m.

Meetings are held at Fire Station 104 at 3102 16th Street SW.

 
 

 

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