A Message from Bonita Springs Fire Chief Gregory L. DeWitt
Another year around the sun has passed for the men and women of Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District. As a District, we encountered many
interesting events this past year. As 2022 opened, COVID was in our rearview mirror. We concentrated on the future of the District regarding population
growth, continuing to progress with training, and persistently looking toward serving the residents and visitors with the highest level of care. Starting
February-March, we began negotiating with Bonita Springs Professional Firefighters Local 3444 on a three-year contract.
Wages and benefits were high on the priority list, primarily because of the high inflation that the entire country had been seeing for the past six to eight
months. The negotiation went very well, and we ratified the contract in only a few meetings, which is a testament to our positive relationship. This year also
saw the return of the Fourth of July Parade, and the District was able to help the Union in making it an excellent return for the Parade.
Supply chain issues are ongoing, from medical supplies to staff vehicles to fire trucks. We ordered a replacement engine (E-26) because the build time was 13
to 15 months. Currently, the build time has risen to 36 to 40 months. Therefore, as a District, we constantly have to forecast what we need, when we need it,
and how long it will take to receive it.
In September, Southwest Florida was hit by a Category 4 hurricane, Hurricane Ian. This hurricane wreaked havoc on Little Hickory Island, including our
Station 27. None of our personnel were injured, but we did have numerous employees that were greatly affected by the hurricane. As true professionals,
we all pressed forward to serve the public during these trying times.
For the next few months, our concentration focused on running emergency calls and getting back into the rescue business on Hickory Island. Our call
volume increased over 60% throughout the month preceding the hurricane, and subsequently increased over 10% for the remainder of the year. Late in
2022, the plaza that housed Bonita Springs Fire Station 27, as well as the restaurant and boat slips, was put on the market for purchase. We purchased
the property to guarantee the District a future on Hickory Island. We have begun to remodel and rebuild Station 27 to the original specs due to the FEMA
50% rule and hope to have it operational by mid-2023.
In November, the Fire Board and staff welcomed newly elected Fire Commissioner Tommy Hugo to our Board. The Fire Board of Commissioners meets on the second Monday of every month. We thank them for their assistance with the Union contract and the Fourth of July Parade. Due to the hard work of the staff and Commissioners, we lowered our mileage rate for the ninth consecutive year.
The State has reported that over 900 people are moving daily to the State of Florida. It appears that a fair number of those people moving to our state are making Bonita Springs their home. As we look forward and move into 2023, the Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District will always strive to be great stewards of the taxpayer’s money while providing the best and most professional service we can.
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
Bonita Springs Fire Chief Gregory L. DeWitt
Serving Bonita Springs Since 1988
phone: 239-390-7959 cell: 239-470-9449
Bonita Springs Assistant Fire Chief Jason Brod
Serving Bonita Springs Since 2001
Bonita Springs Deputy Chief of EMS Eric Madden
Serving Bonita Springs Since 2001
Bonita Springs Deputy Chief of Fire & Special Ops Andrew Schmidt
Serving Bonita Springs Since 2006
Located in Southwest Florida along the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico, Bonita Springs makes up the southernmost edge of Lee County. Each year, Bonita Springs attracts increasing numbers of tourists and year-round residents. |
It is the mission of the Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District to preserve life and property and promote public safety through strong leadership, management, professionalism, and integrity.
Page Last Updated: Apr 21, 2020 (11:35:00)