Search For New Fire Chief Begins


Following the unexpected resignation of Fort Myers Beach Fire District Ron Martin last Friday, the Fort Myers Beach Fire District has begun the process of searching for a new Chief.

The Board will first look for recruits in the local tri-state area before expanding the search locally with a goal of finding the right person as quickly as possible. Board member Ron Flemming said, “Whoever we decide on, that person needs to start immediately. We need a Chief that needs to get to work.”

Board member Jim Knickel added: “We want someone that can step up and lead this organization in the challenging time ahead. We have our work cut out for us. We probably need assistance from an outside agency to help us.”

Martin worked for the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department for 20 years and was hired as Chief in October of 2021. He played a vital role saving lives and finding the dead after Hurricane Ian destroyed Fort Myers Beach on September 28th.

About the search, Board member. Jacki Liszak said, “This is a very unique time. It’s going to take someone with a strong and mult-faceted skill set. We should do a broad search to get the right person to take us forward. Would prefer someone that has disaster-recover experience.

Toward the end of the Fire District Board Meeting Wednesday, Flemming said of the former Chief, “Ron Martin did an outstanding job. We couldn’t have had a better leader. Everything he dealt with. I hope Ron’s in a good place. I want to thank Chief Martin for his service.”

The Board will be meeting again on Friday at 9AM to discuss the Fire Chief job description.


  1. Along with the founding chiefs of that department, Walt Thomas and Joe Busta way back in the early fifties, Ron Martin joins them as the absolute most competent leader in the department’s history. What happened? Why is he suddenly gone?
    Get an interview Ed.

  2. “Prefer” disaster recovery experience is not an option, it is an absolute necessity. Look what happened with out “leaders” post hurricane; they got voted out of office and fired, just like after Hurricane Charlie. Ron is a very strong leader & took a lot of heat for insisting on rescuing as many people as possible before it became a recovery operation. Destructive hurricanes are going to hit this island again and the next fire chief needs the experience and skills to lead the district in the response.


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