Marco Island recognizes Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief David Batiato for 30 years of service

Marco Island City Council honored Fire-Rescue Chief David Batiato (left) for 30 years of service with the department on Sept. 9, 2020.

Marco Island City Council recognized Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief David Batiato on Wednesday for his 30 years of service on the island.

Batiato said he began working as a firefighter on Marco Island before it became a city in the late 1990s.

"For 30 years of my life I have been able to be part of a great place and have made some unbelievable friends," he said. "I truly love this place. That is why I'm still here."

City Manager Mike McNees said Batiato has led the efforts in keeping city employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic by setting up safety standards and deciding when it is safe to come back to work.

"There is not a better team player in this organization than Deputy Chief Dave Batiato," he said.

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Fire-Rescue Chief Christopher Byrne, who was selected as chief in July after the retirement of Chief Michael D. Murphy, said he was Batiato's lieutenant when he began working on the island.

He is a great team player and an extremely knowledgeable firefighter, trainer and leader, Byrne said.

Batiato joined the department in 1990 as a firefighter paramedic, according to the city's website. He has held several positions within the fire department spending the first years as a crew member on a tower truck and fire engine.

He worked for the then-Marco Island Fire Control District, receiving only about 600 emergency calls each year, he said. The department now receives close to 4,000 calls each year.

"We were the only government entity on the island," he said.

Batiato was then promoted to driver engineer and then to captain in charge of a station. In 2014, he was promoted to the chief officer and currently holds the position of deputy chief.

Batiato has taught firefighting recruit classes for more than 15 years, according to the website.  He also was a member of the advisory board for Naples Fire Academy and taught as an adjunct instructor at then-Edison College, now Florida SouthWestern State College, and State of Florida Fire Academy.

Batiato earned a degree in emergency medical services from Edison College and a bachelor’s degree in business management from Hodges University. 

"I just want to thank the council, the manager and our current fire chief for the support and the recognition," he said. "I want to thank the citizens of Marco Island for putting up with me and allowing me to be part of their community."

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