NFM Fire District, county unable to negotiate housing for paramedics

Published: Updated:

NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla.- A group of paramedics are about to get tossed out of a local fire headquarters building.

Tensions are heating up between the Lee County government and the North Fort Myers Fire District.

For decades, paramedics have stayed there, bunking overnight and sharing the building with firefighters.

The two government entities have tried, but failed, to negotiate a rent payment.

“They’ve been sponging off the people of North Fort Myers and it’s about time they ante up and help North Fort Myers help to pay for this service, that we all need,” said Tom Mere.

One problem is, paramedics sometimes get medical-only calls in the middle of the night, but they wake the firefighters who aren’t called to respond.

WINK News spoke with Lee County Commission Chairman Brian Hamman who was in Tallahassee Tuesday, meeting with state officials.

“It’s really sad that it has come to this point, it’s reached an impasse,” said Hamman.

Lee County is offering $15,000 to the fire district, hoping it will allow paramedics to work out of this building for the next year.

It’s unclear, whether the district can accept the short-term deal, because the fire board does not meet again until next week.

Hamman says if the paramedics have to leave the building, the county has other places for them to stay temporarily to respond to medical emergencies.

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