Because we are an isolated island community, fire suppression is a complicated and dangerous endeavor. Winds, humidity, lack of immediate resources (personnel and equipment) and proximity of homes to each other make control of fire and other emergencies especially challenging. Since May 2013, UIFR, in conjunction with Island management, has been able to install 6 fire department access sites utilizing the Island's water service. These access sites are mounted with fire department threads, valves and the ability to flow 260 gallons/min at a pressure of at least 60 psi. The system is fed by a 100,000 gallon water tank. This access allows us immediate water access while our volunteers set up a drafting site.
The maintenance and care of fire suppression equipment is of paramount importance. UIFR is blessed to have top-of-the-line equipment provided by the generous donations of Useppa Island Club members. In addition to our two large engines, we maintain two portable Tohatsu pumps, two portable Hale pumps, a large generator, ALS medical equipment (including the newest Zoll cardiac monitor and LUCAS CPR system), and more. While our call volume is modest, the temperature, humidity and relative non-use are especially hard on the equipment so we must be extra vigilant in our maintenance schedules.
UIFR provides safety inspections of Island homes at the request of the owners. Additionally, UIFR can provide a home safety checklist for residents. While UIFR staff are experienced in home and business fire inspections, we recommend any home maintenance concerns be addressed with Island Services or licensed specialty contractors.
Knox Box installations provide secure access for the firefighters to enter your homes with keyed access. We will order and install those boxes at your request.
Useppa Island Fire Department prohibits the open burning of trash, campfires, bonfires, fireworks, wish lanterns and other live fire events without pre-arrangement with the Fire Chief. Additionally, please be aware of smoking materials and their disposal.
Currently, the Fire Department is in the process of upgrading our emergency response to advanced life support (ALS) for the evaluation and treatment of all major & minor medical emergencies that may occur on the Island. As a Florida certified paramedic, Laura Stokes is working with Lee County EMS to provide these services to our Island neighbors.
All of our Firefighters are EMS trained and experienced.
Training of laypersons in BLS, CPR and AED is available.
Defibrillators are located at the Firehouse (call 911). In conjunction with Island management, we are anticipating adding AEDs to the Tarpon Inn and the Collier Inn for early intervention in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.
Useppa Island EMS has top-of-the-line medical equipment, which is maintained and checked daily.
Flight resources are available, weather permitting, for your immediate evacuation off the island in case of a life-threatening medical emergency. UIFR recommends flight insurance for all residents and frequent visitors. UIFR has contracted with LifeShield Alliance to provide Air Evacuation coverage in the event of catastrophic emergencies. www.lifeshieldalliance.com or 1-855-896-9064.
When available, UIFR responds to our neighboring island,Cabbage Key, in case of medical emergencies. Working with LeeFlight, UIFR has been able to establish a viable landing site for medical evacuation, if necessary.