NewsLocal NewsLee County


Fort Myers first responders' new boat dock to quicken response times has been approved

Posted at 4:59 PM, May 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-01 18:35:15-04

UPDATE (5:02 p.m.) — The City Council of Fort Myers has approved the safety docks during the meeting.

ORIGINAL STORY — On Monday a city council meeting is taking place in Fort Myers and during that meeting there will be a discussion on whether to go forward with a new docking system for Fort Myers Police Department and Fort Myers Fire Department.

The former dock was located at the Fort Myers Yacht Basin and was destroyed by Hurricane Ian. Right now crews are using a dock by Centennial Park in Fort Myers but they want a change soon.

Chief Tracy McMillion with Fort Myers Fire Department says, "What we do in the fire service and police service is all about efficiency and being as quick as possible because one thing we cannot change is time."

Meaning they need a new dock and the money wouldn't come from the city of Fort Myers. Chief McMillion tells me it would be paid for by West Coast Inland Navigation. And the dock wouldn't be too far from where they launch now.

"So this change that we’re looking for — we’re actually going to take the boat docks and put a boat lift out here to the northwest of where we’re standing. The boats and boat lifts can sit there so when those emergencies come all we have to do is just go there, let down the boat, lift put our stuff in the boat and we’re out!" says Chief McMillion.

Adding this will improve response times...

"If we can actually get in our boat as quickly as possible, to be on this waterway to take care of those who are calling us is the best thing possible," says Chief McMillion.

Chief McMillion told me crews took both boats out of the water right before Hurricane Ian hit us or else both boats would also be destroyed.

"Will be bringing to City Council the option to hopefully be able to allow WCIN to actually fund this project for these two inflatable boat docs out here that we spoke about and then if that gets the OK will move forward to work at the process of funding and getting that out there and there’s no cost to the city so it’s a win-win for everyone."

Chief McMillion says every second counts and that's why they need a more efficient way of getting out to emergency calls on the water. They did the best they could relocating after Hurricane Ian but now 7 months later it's part of the rebuilding to have the improved dock in place.

Again this is being brought up in the city council that meeting... of course, we will keep you updated on what comes on the decision.