NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. - Currently, the Bayshore Fire Department is funded by taxes, but thats not enough to make ends meet. The issue is coming to a vote on Tuesday and till then, firefighters are going door to door, asking for your support.
"They're livelihood is on the line. with that being said, it's also about the community that they serve. 6 firefighters laid off could be catastrophic for that community," says J.P. Duncon, President of the Southwest Florida International Association of Firefighters.
Through this union, the Firefigthers are going door to door, making a front porch plea asking the people they protect to now stand behind them.
"If we're not successful on June 24th, September 14th, i'll be laying 6 firefighters off," says Fire Chief Larry Nisbet with the Bayshore Fire Department.
That is half of Nisbet's fire crew. For the past couple of years, the department has heavily relied on federal grants to get by. However, that money is no longer coming in. Now the Chief is asking homeowners to no longer fund the department through taxesand instead approve a flat rate of nearly 600 dollars.
The new rate would also affect non-profits who will have to pay based on how large their facility is. This maens an organization like the animal refuge could go from paying nothing, to paying thouasnds of dollars.
"We want to be supportive of the fire department and the services they provide," Says Jerri Howard with ARC. "But in the same respect, this is a burden, its a hardship for us."