Public Safety Education
To build community trust by providing effective, efficient, fiscally-responsible service through compassion and empathy, as well as open communications. Information dissemination initiatives will be communicated to island residents on the priorities and operations of LGIFR. This will be accomplished by proactively identifying community concerns through regular meetings to improve our response capabilities while implementing resource and deployment strategies carrying the best interest of our community in accomplishing our mission based on the challenges of the island.
LGIFR will reflect a respectful approach through open communication processes providing greater information sharing and involvement in decisions to accomplish our mission through interactions with the community at all community events. Our dedicated members will convey integrity in our commitment to excellence by demonstrating professional and courteous delivery of services to all those living, working, or visiting the island.
LGIFR will be accountable in applying organizational goals and strategies while maintaining our mission and values. Emphasis will be placed upon gaining consensus and assuring continued job satisfaction and excellent customer service both internal and external.
Our vision is that our core competencies will be demonstrated through our culture and that we will consistently meet or exceed the expectations of the community of Little Gasparilla Island.
We are dedicated to providing an exceptional level of fire and emergency medical services, striving for the preservation of life for the citizens and visitors of Little Gasparilla Island
Chief Bill Underhill
District 1: Joe Tremblay (Secretary)
District 2: Steve Davis (Vice Chair)
District 3: Roy Petteway (Chairman)
District 4: Paul Holmes (Director)
District 5: Conrad Coolidge (Treasurer)
District House/Property Addresses:
District 1: House #s 8022-8500
District 2: House #s 8504-8952
District 3: House #s 8954-9394
District 4: House #s 9400-9470
District 5: House #s 9400-9470 and higher
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2002, fire protection was provided by two residents utilizing timeworn equipment on the island. The frayed equipment was donated from neighboring fire departments as they upgraded their equipment and apparatus. An island resident assumed the role of fire chief and very basic volunteer fire service was funded by voluntary contributions from island residents. The first volunteer first responders for EMS assists were trained in 2004, and the resident fire chief provided basic fire and basic first responder medical services. Due to the lack of land access to the island, the Little Gasparilla Island residents identified issues regarding emergency medical services, fire suppression services, and in 2009 established a Tri-Board committee (two members from each of the following organizations; LGI Advisory Committee, The Little Gasparilla Property Owners Association and LGIFR) to explore organizing a tax funded fire department with a professional on duty 24/7 to provide fire protection with Charlotte County EMS providing emergency medical services and transportation for all medical emergencies. The committee visited neighboring fire departments to observe their operations and their tax funding, in order to investigate different models that would be effective for the island emergency response.
The models of tax funding included an Independent Special Fire District similar to Upper Captiva Fire Rescue or contracting with the county similar to Useppa Fire Rescue. After a devastating fire, which took four lives several residents in the community pursued tax funding through a MSBU (Municipal Special Benefit Unit). In 2010, Ballots were sent to all islanders to determine whether or not to request that the county assess properties with an MSBU to fund a fire department. On February 12, 2002, the LGIFR Board signed a contract (non-transport) with Charlotte County and formed a tax funded island Fire and Rescue service. LGIFR is a 501(c)3 with the equipment owned by the corporation and tax revenue obtained by the county through a MSBU assessment of each property of the islands 642 property owners1 (692 lots2).
The first professional fire chief was hired and residents went through First Responder training. Shortly after hiring the first chief, the board of directors decided to expand its basic “rescue’ medical services to include ALS services, since the county boat/transport response was extended or even delayed at times. LGIFR first funded Advanced Life Support (ALS) with donations from the island residents and through the sale of “T” shirts and fund raisers. In 2013, LGIFR purchased property as a potential site for a fire department building and island gathering place. In 2014, $30,000 per year for EMS operations were allocated to LGIFR by the county out of existing county non-MSBU tax revenue. All 911 calls for the island are handled as part of an agreement between the LGIFR and Charlotte County Fire Rescue. Charlotte County Fire Rescue responds with a County Marine Boat to transport the injured or ill patients to the mainland and then the hospital, as well as provide staffing for fire related incidents.
Over the last few years, Little Gasparilla Island Fire Rescue has evolved into a unique public safety rescue system that has saved lives and reduced the severity of injuries and illnesses. LGIFR has a vision that guides the organization towards excellence through goals and strategies. The goals and strategies for LGIFR are to be achieved through deliberate planning, adaptability and the courage to embrace challenges and opportunities through communication with island residents and firefighters.