Saturday, October 23, 2021

Fire Chief Speaks to DWCM

Twenty-three women attended the June meeting of the Democratic Women’s Club of Marco Island (DWCM). The keynote speaker was Marco Island Fire Chief Mike Murphy who spoke to the group about the EMS COPCN plan and the mission statement of the City of Marco Island Fire Rescue Department.

Karin Walzel

Jane Schlectweg presented on how to become a Precinct Leader. She reviewed the four precincts on Marco, and explained the roles and responsibilities. Dawn Rubin, social coordinator for DWCM, informed the club about this month’s breakfast social (June 27, 9-11 AM). Everyone is encouraged to bring a friend. (For more information on precinct leader training or the breakfast social, email

Club members participated in a post-card writing activity urging our elected representatives to support legislation that would help reduce harm being caused to children and families. In both the House and Senate, there is the Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections (HELP) for Separated Children Act, which strengthens protections for immigrant families while they are in ICE custody.

Time was allotted for table discussions on issues most important to club members. The responses ranged from Gun Safety to Healthcare. Members would like to hear from more of our elected officials and those candidates running for office.

The highlight of the meeting was Fire Chief Mike Murphy’s presentation about the City of Marco Island Fire and Rescue Department’s EMS COPCN plan. This plan would allow our EMS teams to be able to use Advanced Life-saving Techniques rather than only providing Basic Life Support until the patient gets to the hospital.

On Marco 67% of all 911 calls are medical. Our 28 paramedics have gone through programs and rigorous training to administer Advanced Life Support. Our Fire and Rescue Department wants citizens to be able to know that they will receive the best care from our own EMS.

There are two types of care—BLS or Basic Life Support and ALS or Advanced Life Support. Currently Marco’s EMS team and our policemen are allowed only to administer BLS. Chief Murphy wants our EMS team to be able to utilize their ALS skills. This is pre-hospital care. Currently Collier County runs the system and restricts what medications and care that our EMS teams are allowed to give and perform.

On August 28th there will be a referendum with the opportunity to vote yes or no on giving Marco control to our EMS system. Chief Murphy stated, “Our Paramedics are skilled, licensed, and capable of doing their jobs. Currently they are limited by the County Medical Director. If we have our own ambulances and our own Medical Director, our own people can fully utilize their skills to meet the needs of Marco residents. They will be able to use Advanced Life Support methods and administer more life-saving medications. Ask yourself this: is it worth $4 or $5 a month ($100 a year) to have our Paramedics allowed to administer live-saving drugs and perform advanced life-saving methods to Marco’s citizens?”

For more information, visit and click on the COPCN link.

There will be no DWCM meeting in July although monthly socials will continue. General session resumes August 14th.

To learn more about the Democratic Women’s Club of Marco Island, check us out on Facebook at or email

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