North Collier Fire pursues right to provide advanced life support services

NAPLES, Fla. – The North Collier Fire Rescue District plans to sue Collier County.

Just two weeks ago, the Collier County commissioners denied the department the right to continue providing advanced life support services.

“We are about to remove 100 highly trained paramedics from being able to provide that advanced level of care” said Jorge Aguilera, deputy chief of EMS for North Collier Fire.

It’s a concern quickly approaching for the fire rescue district.

“We are on a countdown until December 31 to be facing a public health crisis,” said Aguilera.

Wednesday night, the board of commissioners for the fire district voted to file a lawsuit against the county.

“There’s about 300,000 lives that will be somewhat affected with this decision that they made,” said Aguilera.

He says the district has provided the critical service since 2011.

“These individuals went through extensive medical training to be able to do diagnosis at a much more complex arena than what they call basic life support,” said Aguilera.

Those complex medical conditions include heart attacks, severe trauma cases, and allergic reactions.

WINK News reached out to county commissioners about the possible lawsuit. Commissioner Georgia Hiller said North Collier was wrongly denied and now they’re properly asserting their legal right.

Meanwhile Commissioner Tom Henning says he’s disappointed. He says he proposed an agreement on Tuesday but the district wants more than other fire departments have.

“It’s unfortunate they chose to pursue a lawsuit. I would have preferred that cooler heads prevailed, but I am optimistic,” said Commissioner Penny Taylor.

“They have the opportunity,” said Aguilera. “It’s in their power now to be able to recall this, recall it or we’ll let the judge decide.”

Counsel for North Collier Fire has 14 days to submit legal action. They also plan on submitting another application to the county for renewal of these services next month.

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