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The Villages
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Fire chief’s quick action to save residents’ money shouldn’t come as surprise to Villagers

Chief Edmund Cain
Villages Fire Chief Edmund Cain

Villages Fire Chief Edmund Cain deserves plenty of praise for a move he made last week to save his department – and residents – a bunch of money.

Cain appeared before the Village Center Community Development District Board of Supervisors on Wednesday and urged them to move forward with a plan to purchase two new fire engines. By signing a letter of intent to buy the 2019 E-One Typhoon Pumpers now, Cain told them, the District could save more than $42,000 in tariffs.

Cain explained that each fire engine costs $474,971, for a total price of $949,942. That figure would have gone up a whopping $42,746 after Sept. 1, which equates to a 4.4 percent increase in price. So purchasing the equipment sooner rather than later essentially eliminates the extra costs of new tariffs on the materials used to build the engines, such as steel and aluminum.

The Villages Fire Department currently has eight stations, with a ninth on the way off County Road 468 in Sumter County.

In the process, your fire chief saved a whole lot of money that now can be used for other things that are needed as his department continues to grow.

Not surprisingly, Cain’s proposal received unanimous approval. We applaud the VCCDD supervisors for taking that quick action. And we know they thoroughly appreciate the due diligence Cain showed by staying on top of this much-needed purchase and saving thousands of dollars that otherwise would have been wasted on the exact same equipment less than a month from now.

District Manager Richard Baier

District Manager Richard Baier certainly was appreciative. The longtime, highly experienced government official clearly knows the importance of saving every dollar when possible, so he was more than thrilled when Cain presented him with the cost-saving plan.

“This type of thinking is exactly what we expect from our staff within the District Government,” he said Friday afternoon, adding, “and for that matter, every level of government.”

If you know Cain and the way he approaches his job as fire chief, then his quick move to save the District money shouldn’t come as a surprise. He’s about as dedicated a public servant as one will find. And he comes to work every morning with the well-being of this community constantly on his mind.

The Villages Fire Department soon will be getting two new engines and will save $42,746 in the process.

As many of you probably know, your fire department, just like Florida’s Friendliest Hometown, is growing by leaps and bounds. It already has eight fully operational stations, with a ninth coming in the near future on County Road 468. It boasts 105 firefighters – 15 more will be added after Oct. 1 – and 13 administrative staff who make protecting and taking care of you their priority. And they do it every single day, around the clock.

The Villages Fire Department participates in the homecoming ceremonies for Honor Flight veterans.

Those of you who have needed help from Cain’s dedicated team – ask him about them sometime and you’ll quickly see a smile cross his face – know what we’re talking about. They are a group of caring and highly trained people who often see you at your worst. But if you’re having a medical emergency of some kind, your house catches fire or you’re in some kind of vehicle crash, those men and women are the ones you want to see. From the paramedics who perform life-saving measures on a daily basis to the firefighter/EMTs to the command staff who oversee them, they truly are a reflection of the values Cain holds dear as a public servant.

You might not be aware of this, but your fire department also boasts an incredible average response time of four to six minutes. In a medical emergency, oftentimes every second counts. So you should take solace in knowing that when you call 911 for an emergency, they’re coming to help as fast as humanly possible.

Chief Edmund Cain, right, speaks with a member of Lake EMS at the scene of a blaze in 2017.

Here’s something else you should know. According to the American Heart Association, there are roughly 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the United States every year. Those include people playing golf or other sports, sitting at home watching television or eating out at restaurants – the same activities you enjoy on a daily basis. And of those, nearly 90 percent are fatal.

In The Villages, however, that save rate jumps to a whopping 45 percent. Those are people who were treated by paramedics from The Villages Fire Department, transported to the hospital and then later released to go home. They’re just like you and us. And because of the excellent emergency medical care they receive very quickly, they are able to continue enjoying the lifestyle they’ve worked so hard for their entire lives.

The Villages Fire Department boasts 105 firefighters, with 15 more to be added after Oct. 1 to accommodate growth in the community.

As we said earlier, we applaud Chief Cain for his quick action to save the District – and residents – a significant amount of money. That speaks volumes about him and the way he conducts business.

But we also commend Cain and his entire department for putting the well-being of Villagers above everything else. They are a fine example of how fire departments across the country should be operated. And without them and their 24/7-level of dedication, The Villages would be a much different kind of place to call home.

The Villages Fire Department handles a variety of calls, from medical emergencies to structure fires to vehicle crashes, to name a few.

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