The Boca Grande Fire Control District answered 357 calls for assistance through Oct. 17 to tie 2010 for the most emergency assistance volume year-to-date.
BGFD Chief C.W. Blosser said the rising number of rescue runs translates into more residents rather than more emergencies.
"There are just more people here," Blosser said. "There's more going on."
BGFD Chief C.W. Blosser
The latest rash of emergency runs included four manta ray stings, he said. Despite three of four victims being Floridians, they apparently forgot the "stingray shuffle" designed to kick up the beast from the beach floor before stepping on it and incurring a painful sting.
"Sting rays are very painful, especially for those with different pain tolerations," Blosser said.
It was another week where the new emergency call $14,400 Kubota beach vehicle would have come in handy, he said. The new vehicle is being painted and detailed for BGFD service and should be ready in November.
What: Boca Grande Fire Department Board meeting
When: 5 p.m. Nov. 21
Where: 360 E. Railroad Ave.
Why: fire control issues
BGFD emergency response calls
SOURCE: Boca Grande Fire Department through Oct. 17.
"We'd have put them on the buggy and drove them off the beach rather than carry them off in a buckboard," he said.
Blosser also said the Gasparilla Island Bridge Authority work on three replacement bridges has not hampered BGFD rescue calls. GIBA and BGFD are in daily contact about work and a rescue call triggers cooperation between the two bodies to ensure traffic is not blocked or "flagged."
"We've had to call (GIBA) a couple times during emergency calls and it worked well," Blosser said.