A Message from Bonita Springs Fire Chief Gregory L. DeWitt
Another year has passed, and 2021 finished the same way it started with concern for COVID-19 and its variants. The Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District was able to accomplish many things despite the ongoing pandemic.
Halfway through the year, the Delta variant emerged and affected the District differently than the original strain. We had more employees out on workers' compensation with Delta than with the first round of COVID-19.
The subsequent variant, Omicron, has less severe symptoms than the Delta variant and we found our employees with this variant returned to work more quickly.
Although COVID is still affecting the medical supply chain, we have been able to get our necessary supplies by anticipating our needs.
In 2020, we saw a decrease in call volume, which in my opinion, was mainly due to our residents and visitors choosing to stay home. As COVID restrictions lifted, we saw a change in our call volume; possibly due to our community becoming more comfortable with using the 911 system again, travel opening up, education on COVID, and people beginning to venture out of their homes. The call volume in 2021 showed an increase of 8.4%.
Our Board of Fire Commissioners required only one virtual meeting, and once restrictions lessened, The Board began meeting in person again at their monthly Board Meetings - on the second Monday of each month. After missing only one in-person Board Meeting.
In May, COVID did not stop us from receiving two new apparatus. The first, a 2021 Pierce Velocity Aerial Apparatus replaced Engine 26, a 2009 vehicle. The second, a 2021 Pierce Engine replaced Engine 24. We outfitted both units and placed them in service in July. Once in service, tactical changes were made to our entire fleet by relocating the apparatus amongst our seven stations within the District to provide the community with more efficient service.
With the addition of these two new apparatus, the Bonita Springs Fire Board permitted the donation of the two engines that had been in reserve status to two volunteer fire departments northeast of Tallahassee, in Jackson County. The donated apparatus has made a tremendous difference in their communities.
Despite COVID-19, Bonita Springs showed a 5.88% increase in property values. This gave the District an opportunity to lower the millage by $0.05; making 2021 the sixth consecutive year that Bonita Springs Fire Commissioners have reduced the millage while the Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District remained debtfree.
As 2021 wound down, we continued to keep the public up to date with all the latest information via our social media outlet and our free Bonita Springs Fire Control App (please download). The Bonita Spring Fire Control and Rescue District will always seek the most efficient and effective methods of providing emergency response and keeping the citizens and visitors of Bonita Springs safe. Our goal is to move forward, focusing on excellence in the coming year. In your service, Gregory L. DeWitt, Fire Chief
In Your Service, Gregory L. DeWitt, Fire Chief
The Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District Annual Reports
Contact the Executive Staff of the Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District
Page Last Updated: Apr 21, 2020 (11:35:00)