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The Collier County Board of Commissioners rejected the city of Marco Island’s request for a resolution supporting Marco’s request for a certificate of public convenience and need to provide Marco’s own advanced life support and emergency transport.

This request came on the heels of a move to consolidate EMS and the fire service within Collier County and have the county eventually exit that business and turn those services over to an independent taxing district.

“It’s our desire to work with you to continue to provide a great EMS system county wide,” council chairman Bob Brown told the Collier commission members.

Commissioner Georgia Hiller joined commissioner Donna Fiala in supporting Marco’s request.

“I support you and applaud you for taking this action,” said Hiller.

But their efforts died on an initial 3-2 vote as commissioners Tim Nance, Penny Taylor and Tom Henning voted against the resolution, citing the need for the city to follow the steps necessary to apply for the certificate rather than asking them to approve the resolution with no supporting data.

“By their very existence as a city they should have the right to have this request honored,” said Hiller.

But a second attempt by Hiller to have the resolution amended by the county attorney to show support for the application was also rejected.

Henning then made a motion to request that the city submit an application for a EMS certificate with the requisite supporting documentation.

“Our goal here is to improve emergency response throughout the county,” said commissioner Nance. “I just hope your request here is not driven by emotion and I will be looking for the reasoning as part of the application process.”

Following the meeting, Brown praised residents who came out to support the city’s efforts.

“This is a great show of solidarity by the community and we will be proceeding as suggested by commissioner Hennings to complete the application and provide the reasoning behind our request. This will include laying out the facts that commissioner Nance has requested,” said Brown.

“As an independent municipality within the county, we are looking for county support regarding our efforts to be proactive on this matter rather than reactive; we owe that to our citizens,” said Brown in an interview after the meeting.

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