LEE COUNTY, Fla. - It can take one to two hours for an LCEC utility truck to arrive at an overnight emergency situation in Cape Coral. But a new agreement between the city's fire department and LCEC will cut time and improve safety.
When an LCEC employee is on call, they usually take one of the trucks home for the night. But in Cape Coral, you aren't allowed to park one at your house. A solution would allow LCEC to park two of them at a Cape Coral fire department.
If there's an emergency situation overnight, the LCEC employee on call, would have to leave Cape Coral, drive all the way to North Fort Myers, pick up one of the trucks from the secure parking area, and drive all the way back.
"In the city of Cape Coral, there's an ordinance that says you cannot have commercial vehicles in the residential areas, you can't park them there," said LCEC spokeswomen Karen Ryan.
Ryan says the trucks are necessary to turn off power. "If there's a fire they would be a first responder to turn the electricity off, so firefighers can go inside safetly and fight the fire. If there's a vehicle accident and a power line down they can go to the scene and de-energize it so work can be performed safely," she said.
They're also necessary to turn the power back on, for instance, after a storm.
Because of the time delay, the Cape Coral Fire Department asked to park two LCEC utility trucks at the secure fire station near city hall.
"A lot of our emergencies are based around electric issues." Acting Operations Chief Christopher Moore says in the case of an emergency, every minute counts.
"Once a fire is involved then you have the issue of spraying water, if the electric is not cut off it could be very harmful it could be fatal if its not controlled," he said.
This new agreement will be talked about at a city council meeting June 10th.