IMMOKALEE – Lieutenant Curtis Summerals was born in Naples and raised in Immokalee. He is the fourth generation from Immokalee.
“I started volunteering in 1987 with the Big Corkscrew Fire Department and went on to fire school and made it my career. I was hired by the Immokalee Fire District on August 10, 1998. I love the work, and helping others, and my community,” Curtis said.
Curtis attended the City of Naples Fire Academy, Edison Community and the Florida State Fire College.
As a first responder “one experience that has always been memorable for me was when we found a newborn baby in a dumpster and following up a few years later we found out that the child was healthy and had been adopted by a local physician and his family.”
Curtis is a lieutenant with the Immokalee Fire District where he loves being a mentor to the future firefighters.
He has received the Officer of the Year multiple times, the Phoenix Award a couple of times and two Medal of Valor pins. But the biggest reward for Curtis, “is the job of helping people in their time of need and trying to make a bad day a little better for someone.”
Curtis shared these words of advice to young people thinking of getting into a public safety career: “Stay in touch with reality, get your education, and remember _– the best source of information is from someone who has experience and is willing to share with other new firefighters. There’s a lot more that I could share but for now I’ll leave with this thought. The best thing you can learn from an old firefighter is how to become an old firefighter.”