Fire stations of the world: Florida’s Captiva Island Fire District in the US opened new fire station in 2015
The grand opening of the Captiva Island Fire Control District's new station took place on Saturday, 18 July 2015 at 14981 Captiva Drive, Captiva Island in Florida, US. The new Captiva Island Fire Control District Fire Station located in the historic district of Captiva Island is a 9 000 square foot, two-storey building with three back-in apparatus bays. The building consisted of first floor administration, apparatus bay, equipment rooms and decontamination area. The second floor consists of living quarters with bunk rooms that can accommodate up to six fire fighters, a full kitchen, weight room and exterior porch. This fire station is located on a compact site that will include an emergency generator capable of powering the entire facility in the case of an emergency. Other site features include underground storm water and septic tank with a lift station.
The exterior building façade was designed to blend seamlessly with the island styling by utilizing a combination of cement board lap siding set on the lower portion of the building and classic board & batten for the upper portion of the building. Conventionally built overhangs, a metal trellis, sunscreen and ipe hard wood with varying width cement board lattice provide façade enhancements to uniquely characterize the styling of the building. Site development consisted of broadcast shell drives and parking, new landscaping, retaining walls, lift station, septic tank/drain-field and underground storm water retention system.
The fire department was originally started in the late 1940's when the Captiva Civic Association and its CCA Woman's Auxiliary created the Captiva Volunteer Fire Department. In 1949 the CCA made plans to buy fire equipment and recruit and train 25 volunteers. In 1950 island resident Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling donated a used fire truck, a recalculating pump, and new fire hose. The department had 22 official volunteers on record.
On 1 December 1955, the Florida legislature approved creating the Captiva Island Fire Control District. This made the island's fire department an independent state taxing district and allowed for an appointed fire commission.
All of the personnel who serve the citizens of Captiva Island are highly trained and are a dedicated team of professional fire fighter/paramedic and EMTs. The Fire District also maintains a truly great mutual aid response from its local partners including the following; Lee County Sheriff’s Department, Sanibel Fire and Rescue, Lee County Emergency Medical Services, Lee County Emergency Management, Lee County Electric Cooperative and the Island Water Association.
The Captiva Island Fire Control District daily operations provide the highest quality fire, marine safety and emergency medical services to protect our community. Lieutenant Paul DeArmond leads the fire operations and training. Lt DeArmond provides a fire-training schedule for each shift (three shifts) every month.
Training consists of hose advance and initial fire attack scenarios that are practiced in various buildings throughout the island and fire station. Personnel also participate in fire tower training drills at the Sanibel Island Fire Station. Drills include the use of live simulation to reinforce critical thinking and technical application.
The first ten minutes of an “offensive attack” are the most critical and include many tasks that must be completed efficiently: scene size up, formulate attack plan, pull hoseline, driver/engineer pumps water, force entry, attack fire, conduct primary search and rescue, ventilation and coordinate incoming units.
The Paramedic Engine Company consists of an officer (lieutenant), engine/pump operator and firefighter/paramedic. The lieutenant supervises emergency and rescue operations of his/her crew. The pump engineer is responsible for safe operation of the apparatus and deployment/supply of water during a fire response. The fire fighter paramedic conducts fire suppression techniques and ALS when directed by his/her officer.
Fire fighting is very physically demanding and personnel perform physical training (PT) every morning shift. The PT consists of 10 circuit-training exercises that take approximately one hour. Following PT personnel routinely perform fire suppression training at various locations throughout Captiva Island. Personnel break for lunch followed by fire pre-plans and emergency medical scenario practice and/or testing. This shift routine is conducted every day including weekends. The Captiva Fire District shift personnel work a 48/96 hour schedule. Personnel are also responsible for building and lawn maintenance as well as minor maintenance to all district vehicles.
The success of a professional fire department must include an aggressive fire-training program to ensure the safest outcome during an actual structure fire.
OCI Associates Inc provided complete mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and IT/AV engineering design for the new fire station.
Sources: Captiva Island Fire Control District, OCI Associates Inc, Gladstone Builders