CAPE CORAL, Fla.- One of Cape Coral’s longest serving firefighters will be retiring after 33 years of service.
Tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m., the station tones will announce the retirement of Lieutenant James Carroll, who began his career in November 1980 with the Cape Coral Fire Department. Carroll spent his final shift visiting the fire stations and fellow firefighters he worked with during a career spanning three decades.
Carroll ends his career the same way he started… surrounded by fellow firefighters as he went around to all the Cape Coral fire stations to visit one last time as a Lieutenant.
“You can’t do anything alone,” said Carroll as he sat around the table at Fire Station 10, his home away from home for the last 10 years. “The brothers and sisters take care of you. There are so many positive things that happen when they put their heads together. It’s like family.”
Carroll began his career at the old Fire Station 1 on Chester Street south of Cape Coral Parkway where he rode on the tailboard of the old fire engine.
“That was a lot of fun,” he said laughing.
Through his career he has been in a variety of situations, including fighting a house fire during Hurricane Charley in 2004. He moved up through the ranks in the Department serving in a variety of assignments, but found being a Lieutenant on the streets most satisfying.
Lt. Carroll’s roots in public safety run deep. His grandfather was a volunteer firefighter in Chicago. His father, Jim Carroll Sr., served as Assistant Police Chief with the Cape Coral Police Department after the family moved to Southwest Florida. Today, Carroll’s son James Carroll III is a firefighter with Cape Coral Fire Department.