■ BY SUE ERWIN
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno visited Boca Grande on Wednesday, Dec. 11 to present a check to help fund a new floating rescue dock that will be shared by the Boca Grande Fire Department and Lee County Sheriff’s deputies.
“We have more than 1,200 square miles of land and sea to protect in the county, and a majority of that is going to be the waterways,” Marceno said. “Our marine units need to respond immediately to an emergency on the water. Having this dock here will give us the ability to be ready to go at any second.”
The Sheriff said it’s important for law enforcement deputies to work closely together with the fire department staff.
“It’s a shared effort; we work cohesively together to make sure our residents are safe.”
Boca Grande Fire Department Chief C.W. Blosser said there will be a finger dock installed to store some of the rescue equipment that doesn’t get carried on the boats.
“We’re right on the edge of the bayou, so we can get here quicker from the station, which cuts our response time,” Blosser said.
The recue boat is currently being kept at The Gasparilla Inn marina. The new dock will have remote lifts and a patient offload area, and there will be another floating portion that will house the Sheriff’s boat and the fire rescue jet ski.
Kathy Berry of the Boca Grande Woman’s Club attended the ceremony. The Club has also raised money to fund the construction of the dock.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office check for $26,000 will complete the required funds for the dock, which will cost more than $79,000 to finish. An expected completion date is not known at this time.