history

The Sanibel Fire Control District was formally established in May, 1955. Captiva’s Fire District was formally established in the same legislative session. Sanibel’s District ended at Bowman’s Beach Road, and Captiva was responsible for the north end of Sanibel Island. Response to the north end of Sanibel was given back to Sanibel Fire Control when the City of Sanibel was established in 1975.

The first three Fire Commissioners who had applied for the charter in Tallahassee were, J. M. (Martin) Hiers, O. (Pat) Murphy and Tom Billheimer. These three pioneers lead the effort to form the Sanibel Fire Control District.

The Fort Myers Fire Department donated a truck to Sanibel that they were taking out of service in 1955. The truck was housed in the first fire station, built on Periwinkle Way at what is now the island’s “Roadside Park”. The station was built in the mid -1950’s and also served as the Island’s voting precinct for years. The building was moved by Ralph Woodring in 1974 and was remodeled into the current Bait Box on Periwinkle Way.

Our longest dedicated member, Allen Nave, has served as Volunteer Firefighter, Volunteer Chief and retired as a Commissioner with the Fire District in 2006. Commissioner Nave had given 50 years of dedicated service to the District.

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