MARCO ISLAND, Fla.- The Marco Island Fire Department has a new piece of life saving equipment. It's the first of it's kind to come to area. The vessel arrives just a day after a serious boat accident on the water just off Marco Island.
Marco Island has over 6,000 registered boaters and that's the reason why this fire-rescue boat is needed for the fire department.
"We needed to improve our safety ability in response and we needed improved capabilities in patient care and for fire fighting," said Deputy Chief Chris Byrne.
The J.W. Adams, named after a firefighter who lost his battle with cancer one year ago, comes equipped with a rescue platform so first responders can begin patient care. It also has two fire hoses, ALS equipment and is jet driven.
"Residents and the boaters can be assured, should they have an emergency, there is a very safe capable vessel, with a fully trained crew ready to respond to their needs," said Byrne.
It's a major upgrade from the rescue boat the department has been using for years.
"We can bring them out of the water properly, immobilize them and bring them to the treatment area."
The old boat responded to a serious boat accident on Wednesday, just one day before the J.W. Adams arrived. Five people were riding on a boat when the driver, Gary Rossiter, made a 90 degree turn and hit a sandbar. Two people, Nancy Rossiter and Linda Bellandrea were taken to the hospital.
One victim was life flighted to Lee Memorial, and tonight WINK News has learned she is in good condition. Marco Island Fire will have three boat operators on every shift. Training on the boat begins tomorrow.