North Collier Fire continues fight over right to provide advanced life support

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North Collier Fire
North Collier Fire. CREDIT: WINK News

NORTH NAPLES, Fla. – A man brought a room to tears on Friday, thanking North Collier firefighters for saving his life.

Ron Krawczyk says he’s alive because firefighters with the North Collier Fire and Rescue District were able to provide advanced life support, but it’s a service the department may soon lose.

“It’s your life, you don’t expect to die at 55.”

On July 30, Krawczyk went into cardiac arrest.

“All of a sudden, I heard this horrible noise and I jumped up and I ran in the room, he was gasping for air,” said Chris Krawczyk, Ron Krawczyk’s wife.

“I can tell you I was really dead on the floor. Without the advanced life support I wouldn’t be here,” said Ron Krawczyk.

When firefighters arrived, Krawczyk was unconscious, had no heartbeat and he wasn’t breathing. They were able to use advanced life support, or ALS equipment, and administer drugs right away.

“It validates what we’re doing is right for the community and what the community needs,” said the department’s Deputy Chief George Aguilera. “Unfortunately, it’s essential to those with a small opportunity at a time when they actually need it.”

The department is fighting to keep administering ALS after three Collier County commissioners denied them the ability to renew a state license in September.

“I find it difficult to believe. Why would you not provide this service in the future? Why would you take it away?” said Krawczyk.

North Collier Fire is suing the county for denying their request. But they recently reapplied to continue providing ALS services and are trying to work out an agreement with the county.

If that doesn’t happen by December 31, the fire district will no longer provide ALS service to residents.

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