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Fire commissioner wants to arm SWFL firefighters

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla.- Firefighters in Southwest Florida could show up at scenes armed with guns if one fire commissioner has his way.

A new idea from Bonita Springs Fire Commissioner Fred Forbes could give firefighters access to military-grade weapons.

“It is not like the firefighters are the bad guys, they are the good guys. I think they definitely should be able to have it,” said Tami Archey.

“Big trouble, big trouble there,” said Bob Latesky.

“I am thinking primarily of military-style weapons that could be carried in the fire trucks,” said Forbes.

After all the recent violence aimed at first responders, Forbes says something needs to be done.

“It would be a terrible thing if we have incidences pop up and we haven’t even looked at what would be involved to do it,” said Forbes.

The idea is to have a weapon inside the fire truck and Forbes also wants body armor for dangerous scenes.

“The idea is astronomical, you are talking about firefighters carrying firearms,” said Bonita Springs Fire Chief Joseph Daigle.

Daigle says right now he doesn’t have a firm opinion either way.

“I would have to do some investigation to find out exactly if it would add any enhanced protection to our firefighters,” said Daigle.

Forbes will present this idea to the other fire commissioners at their meeting next Monday.

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