The Satellite Beach Fire Department, funded in 1960, is an I.S.O Class 2 Department and is considered a “Full Service”, “All Hazard”, and “Unmet Needs” agency serving the residents of the City of Satellite each and, by inter-agency mutual aid the surrounding communities as needed. The services provided include, but are not limited to, Fire Suppression, Paramedic Level Advanced Life Support, Technical Rescue, hazardous Materials Technical Response, Water Rescue, Public Education Programs, Community Health Programs, Injury Prevention Programs, Fire Life Safety Programs (Fire Code Inspections). The department employs eighteen full time, four part time, and seven reserve personnel that are not paid staff.
This relatively new reserve staff is trained to perform all the same tasks as the full-time employees, providing them the skills & experience needed to go on to secure full time employment at any Fire Department in Florida.
The SBFD personnel are a busy bunch! Fire Chief Dave Abernathy tells us that actual fi re related calls are low and that is due to progressive fi re inspections and smoke detector installations. Under their Community Health Program, one service offered is a Fall Prevention Survey of your home that brings attention to anything that could cause trips and falls. Once detected, they can arrange installation of ramps & grab bars if needed by reputable installers.
Another very successful program under Community Health is their Community Paramedic Program. Currently the SBFD have 160 Satellite Beach residents that are monitored. They offer free in-home health evaluations for older citizens who have limited mobility, are homebound or have chronic health conditions that are self-managed. The health care system is a complicated process. These patients generally have multiple physicians depending on their condition(s), and usually do not have an advocate to assist them.
In January 2015, the Fire Department reorganized its staff and created a full-time Community Health paramedic Program without increasing budgetary cost. The Community Health Paramedic provides home visitation, wellness examinations, monitors medication and nutrition compliance and works collaborative with the patient’s primary care provider. The beauty of this Program is that it has been funded by the community through donations – giving the Department the ability to monitor patients in the City without using taxpayer funds.
Chief Abernathy says, “there isn’t much they won’t do for the public”. They are a good resource for the community. If you have an issue that isn’t in their realm of expertise, they will work on getting you to the right person that will help. He’s quite proud of their community involvement to the public. On any given day, this department and its personnel have a full plate, then throw in COVID-19! In January of 2021 the
SBFD began administering the COVID vaccine to members of their Community Paramedic Program. It wasn’t long after that they began offering the vaccine to Satellite Beach residents and recently have opened vaccine distribution to anyone and residency of Satellite Beach is not a requirement. This has been going so well that neighboring communities, Indian Harbour Beach, Melbourne Beach and Indialantic teamed up for their first large vaccine distribution held at the David R. Schechter Community Center on April 6th. Chief Abernathy feels there will most likely be another date scheduled.