Immokalee Fire Control District officials say budget shortfalls are to blame for a delay in getting to a man who died because of injuries suffered from a chainsaw accident Saturday.
It took only a few minutes for crews from the Immokalee fire district to arrive after Esteban Cristobal-Antonio, 36, injured himself while cutting branches about 30 feet up in a tree he had climbed at 331 N. 15th St.
However, firefighters needed a ladder truck to reach Cristobal-Antonio, and the district sold its only one last year, said Immokalee Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Cunningham.
It took about 45 minutes for a ladder truck to respond from the North Collier Fire Control and Rescue District after an Immokalee battalion chief called for mutual aid, Cunningham said.
It’s hard to say whether or not a ladder truck on scene more quickly would have saved Cristobal-Antonio’s life, Cunningham said.
However, the risk of another tragedy where the district could use a ladder truck is always there, he said.