Off-duty Fla. FF-EMT rescues distressed boaters

Charlotte County Firefighter-EMT Todd Schwalbe was captaining his own boat when he noticed the other boat sinking

By Laura French

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. — An off-duty firefighter-EMT rescued a group of boaters from a sinking boat on Friday. 

Firefighter-EMT Todd Schwalbe, a member of the Charlotte County Fire and EMS Marine Operations team, was captaining his own boat with a crew of divers when he noticed the fellow boaters in distress about 15 miles from the coast, according to a Facebook post shared by the department. 

Julio Morales, who was on the sinking boat, said on Facebook that Schwalbe "was the only one that responded to our flare gun and waving with our diving flag." 

Schwalbe and his crew rescued the boaters and then called the Coast Guard and local police department for assistance. 

"I cannot [imagine] the chaos in our country without the services of these heroes that are always risking [their] lives to serve and help our citizens, even when they are NOT on duty," Morales wrote. 


On Friday, Firefighter /EMT Todd Schwalbe was 15 miles off the coast in the Gulf, enjoying his day off when he noticed a...

Posted by Charlotte County Fire and EMS on Saturday, July 18, 2020


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