Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Keeping You Safe



Coastal Breeze News is pleased to announce its newest column, Keeping You Safe, which will provide readers with valuable, life-saving information from Firefighter/Paramedic Chris Bowden, who also serves as the Public Education Coordinator for the City of Marco Island Fire Rescue Department.


Keeping You Safe
By Chris Bowden

This fire safety message brought to you by the City of Marco Island Fire Rescue Department.

The Marco Island Fire Department always recommends that you know what to do before an emergency strikes. With that in mind, it only seems fitting for this month’s fire safety message to be on creating and implementing fire escape plan for you and your family. The plan is important if you for live in a high rise condominium or in a single family residential dwelling. Many of you can probably remember being drilled on this as a young child in your elementary classrooms. In fact, most schools in the country get many visits from their local fire department to teach fire safety. Nonetheless, fire safety needs to be a part of every age group, and having an escape plan is just as important for adults as it is for young children.

Did you know that a fire doubles in size every 30 seconds! It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black toxic smoke, and not long after that, flames will engulf its contents entirely. Being that fire spreads so rapidly, it’s important to remember you won’t have time to grab personal belongings. There’s only one thing to do and that’s get out and stay out.

Knowing what to do during a fire is particularly important for the very young and for older adults. Statistics show that people 65 and older are twice as likely to be killed or injured by fires. Here on Marco Island, adults age 65 and older make up roughly 25 percent of the total population. These necessary steps must be followed to stay

Mary Husted. Submitted Photo

Mary Husted. Submitted Photo

safe, and may help to save you and your family’s lives.

  • Create a fire escape plan for your home.
  • Always know two ways out of every room.
  • Discuss your fire escape plan with all family members and neighbors.
  • Contact your building manager or fire department to discuss your plan if you need extra help escaping due to mobility issues.
  • Keep eyeglasses, keys, hearing aids and a phone within reach next to your bed.
  • Practice your home fire escape drill twice a year.
  • When you can safely dial 911, do so.

Remember, elevators will not work. If unable to use the stairs, dial 911 and tell the dispatcher your exact location including floor and unit number for further assistance.

For further information on fire safety preparation for seniors, please contact Firefighter/Paramedic Senior Advocate-Grady Harrison at 239-389-5040.

Chris Bowden is a Marco Island Firefighter/Paramedic as well as the Public Education Coordinator. Growing up on the Island, he feels passionate about giving back to the community. During his time off, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Katie and daughter Emily. Chris can be contacted at or 239-389-5040.


Getting to Know Your Fire Department

Mary Husted has lived on Marco Island with her husband Mike and daughter Samantha for 25 years. Originally from Massachusetts, she fits in perfectly and is a key component to the day-to-day operations. Mary has worked for the City of Marco Island Fire Rescue Department for 18 years and holds the title of administrative assistant. Mary is the “go to” person when you call or do business with the department. On her own time, she loves to sing in the choir at the Capri Christian Church and plays tennis. In fact, Mary and her teammates just placed third in the state championships for females age 18 and up. When asked how she has liked working here she said, “It is an honor and a privilege to provide support to the men and women of the MIFD.”



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