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Upper Captiva Fire commissioners appoint interim Chief following massive resignation

Upper Captiva Fire
Posted at 2:44 PM, Feb 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-10 22:02:23-05

CAPTIVA, Fla. — On Friday, Upper Captiva Fire commissioners took a major step forward by appointing interim Fire Chief, Jesse Cottrell after facing a massive resignation including the district’s previous chief back in December.

Cottrell, a Bonita Springs Firefighter, is a name commissioners like Bill Byrnes are familiar with.

“I worked with Jesse for many years out there and under the circumstances, I think he is an excellent choice,” said Byrnes during Friday's special meeting.

As the search continued for the department's next permanent Chief, commissioner Van Hammond said of the 17 candidates, a total of five will be voted on by board members at their next meeting on Feb. 24.

Besides staffing numbers, commissioners also discussed equipment issues the department was facing.

Duncan Rosen-whose chair of the board said FEMA told them they will be taking back two of their utility vehicles called “mules” that the department has been using to respond to emergencies.

“We have a critical emergency right now if we do not have this mule,” said Rosen.

A problem that on Friday, Rosen shared with the department's newest leader, Cottrell, who along with the board is looking at temporary fixes like leasing the equipment until they can figure out a permanent solution.