NORTH NAPLES, Fla. Men and women who work countless hours to keep the public safe got a chance to put their feet up Monday night.
About 200 first responders and their families were treated to a free screening of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” at Paragon Theaters in the Pavilion Shopping Center. ArgoTrak Inc., a veteran-owned North Naples business, funded the event, which also provided unlimited popcorn and soda.
“It’s appreciated to be appreciated, I will tell you that,” North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District Assistant Chief Erik Watson said.
They came from local fire departments, police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to kick back and share stories from a difficult brush fire season.
“These latest fires had my husband right out in the middle of everything,” Watson’s wife, Shelley, said. “It was very stressful for me. I was like, ‘You’re an officer now.’ I didn’t realize he was still going to be in the thick of things, but he was.”
The evening was a stress-reliever, Erik Watson said, but emergency situations like the shooting that left six dead in Orlando on Monday are never far from their minds.
“In Collier County, we pay attention to those events and realize that we’re not immune to them,” he said. “So we’re very alert and we’re very aware of what’s going on around us at all times.”