Thirty applications have been received to join the Boca Grande Fire Department, including an 18-year-old.
The field of applicants will be winnowed to 20 for testing in Englewood followed by June 28 interviews.
"We've got a good well-rounded group," said BGFD Fire Chief C.W. Blosser. "I'm pretty upbeat about it."
Hiring new firefighters will be spotlighted in the budget process now in the preliminary stages for the next BGFD fiscal year, Blosser said.
"Salaries for the guys are an unknown as we await the official results from the property valuations," Blosser said. "The preliminary estimates are never right."
Lee County Property Appraiser Kenneth Wilkinson reported Boca Grande property valuations preliminarily up a fraction of a percent. The finalized property valuations are due July 1.
What: Hammerhead Adventure Race
When: 8 a.m. July 28
Where: 3.5 miles of Boca Grande obstacle course
Why: benefits Boca Grande Firefighters Association
Cost: $55 entry fee
What: Boca Grande Fire Department Board meeting
When: 5 p.m. July 18
Where: 360 E. Railroad Ave.
Why: fire control-related matters
BGFD Board member Mark Spurgeon cautioned the first potential property valuation increase in five years would not necessarily result in large salary increases.
"We can't be outstripping our neighbors," he said at the June 20 BGFD Board meeting.
In other BGFD action:
Lt. Pete Kirvin won the gold medal in the 200-pound weight class and firefighter Jason Hutchison took the silver medal at 175 pounds at a match held in Stuart. Hutchison drew a female firefighter in the opening round, Blosser said, and he choked her out to ensure there would be no embarrassing defeat.
"Kirvin beat a cop in the end so that's always good,' Blosser said.
Hangtag applications have slowed as the island emptied out for the season. BGFD employee Nancy Coleman said she's issued more than 1,000 but does not know exactly how many new tags have been issued. Tags can only be renewed between 10 a.m. and noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.
The BGFD handled two minor mulch fires, 37 medical assists, seven service calls, one good intent call, and six false alarms.
More than 50 applicants have already registered to take on The Hammerhead Adventure Race in Boca Grande at 8 a.m. July 28 covering 3.5 miles of hard-core obstacles for a $55 entry fee.