Fire commissioners say cost would be too great
The Springs Fire Department is the only agency on the South Fork without a paid paramedic or critical care technician, relying only on its volunteers to answer calls, like this one in Clearwater Beach on Friday. Doug Kuntz

The communications tower erected by the Springs Board of Fire Commissioners behind the firehouse looms over the landscape. Doug Kuntz

Jason E. Monet T.E. McMorrow

Melanie Mackin was one of many taking the tests for ocean rescue certification when she fell ill on Monday. Elizabeth Halliday
Melanie Mackin’s victim in a drill became her rescuer when, after jumping from her back, he caught her as she fell in the knee-deep water. Kelly Stefanick
Melanie Mackin was carried from the water to the ambulance on the back of an all-terrain vehicle. Kelly Stefanick