Did you know that one of Florida's most popular destinations, Monroe County in the Florida Keys, has no Fire/EMS Rescue boats to assist in the event of an emergency? In August of 2017, in Cudjoe Key, we learned that the hard and tragic way ...
Fire/EMS Rescue Boats Florida Keys
Our family had spent many, many summers boating in the Florida Keys. On August 11, 2017, the day of our daughter’s death, we discovered there was a lack of Fire/Rescue boats in the 90 miles of Monroe County shores.
Our family experienced a tragic emergency with our daughter Harlie a few miles from land and discovered we were on our own! We called 911, VHF, EPIRB several times asking for immediate help. We were told to drive ourselves to Venture Out. But with one engine out, that made it difficult! Tow boats, Law Enforcement, and the US Coast Guard are all typically patrolling, but have limited medical training and are spread thin for such a large area, and we were in a dead zone between the more popular islands. Thankfully a man who tows boats heard the USCG distress call, a resident that’s lived in the Keys for years came to help us!! With no medical help we finally got to shore 25. If that man wasn’t there that day….. who’s knows how we would have got to land!!! Monroe County Fire Rescue was first at Venture Out WAITING at docks for us, Police, Paramedics, and FWC officers were there also WAITING for us. Harlie's injuries were critical. Having to get to shore with no medical help or navigational direction was a traumatizing experience we endured with our daughter, which unfortunately can NEVER be forgotten!
Our plan and wish is that NO other family should ever have to feel so helpless and go through the terror we did that day in the Florida Keys. Monroe County has over 26,0000 registered vessels, ranking 4th in the state of Florida for most registered boats. The three counties topping the list above Monroe are Dade, Broward, and Lee. All 3 counties have maritime response assistance. Our goal is to get Medical/ Fire response boat for Monroe County ASAP in an effort to jumpstart a much needed marine program. This properly outfitted asset along with extra portable radios to distribute to FWC, Police and Fire for improved communications will cost $360,000. We hope to eliminate the dead zones one by one! Please help our family and Harlie make a difference… Sincerely Thank You!!!