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Administrative Staff
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Fire/EMS > Administrative Staff​​
    • Bill Van Helden
      Public Safety Director
      Bill Van Helden spent the first part of his firefighting career in Lehigh Acres, where he rose to the rank of Deputy Chief. He joined Cape Coral Fire Rescue and Emergency Management Services in 1996 and served as Division Chief in the Administration and Operations Divisions until his appointment to Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director in August 2002.

      In 2013 Bill joined Charlotte County Public Safety in Emergency Management Division and was later hired to the Deputy Chief of EMS Operations position in 2014.

      In April of 2017 Bill became the Director of Public Safety.
    • Jason Fair
      Deputy Chief
      As a Florida native, Jason began his professional career in Public Safety in 1992. His career has spanned an array of specialties including fire, EMS, Urban Search and Rescue, Swift-water and Urban Flood, Hazardous Materials and Emergency Management. Across these fields he has moved through the ranks in both private and public service.

      In 2008 Jason came to Charlotte County Public Safety as Deputy Chief of Fire and Special Operations. He represents Region 6 as the State Emergency Response Plan Coordinator and serves on various Committees as part of the State Working Group on Domestic Preparedness. Additionally, Jason serves as State Emergency Response Team Liaison to the State Emergency Operations Center.

      He has been a Special Operations Instructor and Foreign Affairs Expert in Emergency and Disaster Management and Response since 2003, consulting/instructing civilian and military throughout the US, Caribbean and Asia.

    • Tony Messina
      Deputy Chief
      Tony started in the Fire Service in 1974 with the Arcadia Fire Department and moved through the ranks becoming Chief in 1981. He obtained his instructor certifications in the 1980's along with his A.S. in Fire Science from Manatee Community College in 1989.

      In 2000 he retired from Arcadia and started as Fire Science Coordinator with Edison Community College. He obtained his Bachelors Degree from International College in 2001 and became the Fire Chief for the City of Marathon in the Florida Keys.

      Tony remained with the City of Marathon until being hired in January 2004 as the Fire Training Officer for Charlotte County Fire/EMS. In 2013

      Tony accepted the Deputy Chief position which he currently holds.

    • Michael Davis
      Deputy Chief
      Michael Davis is a Southwest Florida native, his career in Public Safety began as an EMT in 1993 and advanced to a Paramedic soon after and then to a Paramedic II with Lee County EMS. During this time, Davis obtained his Air Medical Crew Certification allowing him to transport patients on a rotor wing aircraft.

      In 1999, Davis attended the Fire Academy and was hired as Estero Fire Rescue's first Paramedic to run ALS non-transport as a Firefighter/Paramedic. During this ten year with Estero, Davis was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

      Education has been an important part of his career. Davis holds an Associates in Science Degree in both Fire Science and Emergency Medical Technology, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from Hodges University. He has also attended the National Fire Academy.

      In 2008, Davis came to Charlotte County Fire/EMS as a Firemedic. Davis has consistent involvement in training and education, serving both Private and Public sector. Davis was then promoted to the rank of Fire Training Captain in 2014.

      In 2017, he was promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief.

    • Dee Hawkins-Garland
      Public Education Coordinator
      Dee Hawkins-Garland currently serves as Fire & EMS Public Information Officer/Education/Relations Coordinator and Lead Public Information Officer for Emergency Management. Dee began her career at Charlotte County Fire & EMS in 1989 as an Emergency Medical Technician. Within 2 years of starting her career with Fire & EMS, Dee completed Edison Community College’s Paramedic course, met State and National Certification requirements and was promoted to Paramedic.

      In November 2000, Dee was promoted and assigned the duties of Public Information Officer/Public Education/ Public Relations Coordinator. Dee’s responsibilities and duties include public information and media relations, fire/injury prevention program and material design, client human service referrals, facilitating special events, facilitating and managing the Critical Incident Stress Management Team and fundraising/program sponsorship management.

      Dee has not only brought local, state and national attention to the department through her innovative and educational programs but has also won numerous awards herself for these programs and her dedication to her duties. Two of her many awards include the Outstanding Civil Servant Employee Award from District 10 VFW Ladies Auxiliary and the 2013 Charlotte County Employee of the Year Award.

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