What Does The Fire Chief And Fire Board Commissioner Want Now???
Editorial by Robert Anderson Publisher Lehigh Acres Gazette
Currently the board has approved to hire a new assistant chief of operations. Why?
Is the Fire Department really broke if they can afford to pay over $100,000 a year for a new officer.
Chief Wayne has told the board at a recent meeting he can’t do all the work and he needs help!
So why can’t the three Battalion Chiefs or the two Captains or the 15 Lieutenants work together to these work? They will not answer this question, why?
In a recent post from Chief John Wayne in the Lehigh Acres Gazette, “Emergency call volume has increased approximately 40% since the District laid-off employees in August of 2009. Fire suppression positions have been restored to 100% capacity as of July 2010, however, administrative employee capacity of the District remains at only 55%. Administrative workloads have exceeded reasonable capacity as a result.”
So what is reasonable capacity?
To be fair to the Chief…. Chief already as a Asst Chief / Fire Marshall on staff.
Chief Wayne said “The Fire Marshall was given the title of Asst. Chief by the previous Fire Chief, as the Fire Marshall had to take on additional duties due to the fact that half of the Administrative Staff was laid-off in 2009. The Fire Marshall’s work load has long exceeded the capacity of a single employee. His division has seen a 50% decrease in personnel as well since 2009. He is responsible for all fire investigations, fire inspections, and fire prevention activities of the District…in addition to most of our Information Technology/Computer related issues.”
Let’s get the facts straight the fire board approved the title change from Fire Marshall to Asst Chief / Fire Marshall not the former chief.
And the department doesn’t need a paid Fire Marshall. There is a Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is the statewide law enforcement branch of the State Fire Marshall, which is responsible for conducting fire, arson, and explosives investigations as well as other associated crimes. And it’s paid by your tax dollars.
All development review has not been handled by Lehigh Acres Fire for some time it’s handled be another fire department in Lee County for them. Board Approved!!!
85% of all Information Technology/Computer issue is handled per contract with a computer company in Ft Myers. Board approved the contract!!!
The Lehigh Acres Fire Department also uses a 3rd party billing company to handle of the ambulance billing. So the Department only handles the very, very old accounts internally. Board approved the contract!!!
So they have “exceeded reasonable capacity”??? Looks too many that they use outside 3rd party vendors and services.
According to the Chiefs post, “The position of Assistant Chief of Operations is critical within the department when it comes to the safety of our personnel on emergency scenes. It is an intricate position that has been missing from our Incident Command structure for years.”
Incident Command structure?? What?? Don’t we have a Fire Chief, Asst Chief, three Battalion Chiefs, two Captains and 15 Lieutenants?? So why do we need one more officer to have an Incident Command structure??
Chief Wayne went on to said, “In addition, a media article has no credibility if it is not accurate or simply attempts to create negativity and confusion within the public.”
Only misperception there’s been is the deception and inability of the five elected commissioners to make policy and to fix the fire department.
We encourage the readership of the Lehigh Acres Gazette listen to the verbal minutes of the board meeting or even come to a board see how dysfunctional the fire board really is.
The next meeting is Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 5 pm held at Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District, Station 104, 3102 16th St SW, Lehigh Acres, FL 33976 off of Sunshine Blvd.