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Marco Island City Council approved Monday an agreement between Collier County and the city to provide quality and cost-effective fire rescue and emergency services to residents. The agreement replaces one signed in 2007.

The original agreement created an  exchange program where the city and county would share emergency personnel, according to Marco Island Fire chief Michael D. Murphy. "Now they are staffing their own vehicles and we are staffing our own fire vehicles," Murphy said. "Our citizens are paying the salary of our employees to be in our vehicles."

Collier County is the only entity licensed by the state of Florida to reach agreements so cities like Marco Island can operate paramedic vehicles, according to Murphy. "Nobody in the county can operate unless the county allows them to operate as paramedics," Murphy said. "By (reaching) an agreement with the county, it allows the utilization of paramedics and fire departments to actually perform certain paramedic procedures in the field which end up saving lives."

The city has increased its service capability by providing paramedics in every fire truck 24/7, according to Murphy. "Having a dual utilization of fire fighters and paramedics in the field is in the best economic and medical interests of the residents of this county," Murphy said.

Fire rescue and emergency services interlocal agreement - City of Marco Island & Collier County by Omar Rodriguez Ortiz on Scribd

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