The heat is still on after a near-record year of 434 Boca Grande Fire Department calls.
The BGFD went on 40 runs, including two minor fires and 19 medical assists, in January to blow away the 2012 record of 27 calls for the month by 49 percent.
"That's the most for the month ever, ever, ever," said BGFD Chief C.W. Blosser. "It shows how many people are out here. And we're busy."
BGFD Chief C.W. Blosser
At the Feb. 20 BGFD Board meeting, Blosser reported blazes doused included a Linwood mulch fire assist with Charlotte County and a blown air-conditioning unit atop the Boca Grande Community Center.
In other action, a big concern of one month ago - possible privatization of Lee County dispatch and emergency medical service - apparently has receded as an option after citizen complaints, Blosser said. In January, Blosser said privatization could lessen quality of emergency service to Boca Grande.
After returning from a Lee County Fire Chief's Association meeting, Blosser said the group seemed confident the issue was no longer front burner. A Lee County Fire Chiefs' Association Task Force had pressed the issue.
BGFD emergency response calls
SOURCE: Boca Grande Fire Department
What: Boca Grande Fire Department Board meeting
When: 5 p.m. March 20
Where: 360 E. Railroad Ave.
Why: fire control issues
"Apparently (Lee County) got enough heat about it that it seems to be going away now," Blosser said.
The EMS budget is $30 million with an estimated $20 million in revenue. Air Med of Tampa was considered the leading contender to land the contract, Blosser said, although Bay Flights in Sarasota and possibly one other company were also in contention.
In other action:
The BGFD Board approved a $5,000 credit card through Florida Shores Bank for qualifying emergency purchases. Blosser had been putting such expenses on his own card but last month spent more than $1,300 on BGFD business. The BGFD already has Home Depot, Staples and fuel credit cards.
Ladder truck 231 was discovered to be 9,000 pounds overweight for Swing Bridge standards. The truck will cross the bridge solo now until the Swing Bridge is replaced.