2012 Columbus Day Parade Marshal, CCFD’s First Chief, Edward Kocik

Nov 26, 2012 3087

In 1961 Cape Coral was a tiny but growing community in need of a Fire Department. A group of men encouraged by Gulf American Corporation decided to form a one and on April 9, 1961, the Cape Coral Volunteer Fireman's Association was incorporated by an act of the Florida legislature. Their first elected Chief was Edward Kocik.
Ed Kocik and his wife Alice, both natives of Binghamton, NY bought a home on Viking Court in Cape Coral after attending a Gulf American sales party in Binghamton in the winter of 1960.

Ed had been a lineman with New York State Electric and Gas but was out of work due to arthritis in both of his hands. When he came to Cape Coral "to see what we had bought" his arthritis was relieved. When he returned to New York and the cold winter weather, so did the pain. That's when he made his mind up to sell their home and relocate to the Cape.
They moved to Cape Coral in 1961 from Binghamton with their 3 children, two girls and a boy. Their fourth child, another boy was born in Fort Myers after their arrival to complete the family. All four children still reside in Florida.
Mr. Kocik quickly found work at LCEC as a lineman and stayed with them until he retired in 1982. Being assigned to Cape Coral by the electric coop, he was always available to respond to emergency calls, which was one of the reasons he was chosen to serve as Chief. "I was the youngest guy in the group at 32 so the older men wanted me to take the job", He said. Chief Kocik remained the Chief for 7 years, until a Fire District was created and the first paid Chief and paid firemen were hired by the then City of Cape Coral Fire Department.
During those first years, one firemen would stay overnight at the Chester Street Fire Station, about 10 men took turns performing this task. At the Kocik home, another important job was handled by Mrs. Kocik. They had two telephones in the kitchen, one for the house, and one for the Fire Department. When the Fire phone would ring, Alice would take the call, then call LCEC and they would alert her husband on their two way radio. Mrs. Kocik was the first emergency call taker for the citizens of Cape Coral.
After his retirement from another business he and a friend started in 1992, the Kocik's moved to North Carolina where they had a second home. They stayed there about 10 years before returning to Florida to be closer to their children and grandchildren. They now reside in the Tice section of Fort Myers. Chief Kocik and his wife of 64 years, Alice are honored to be asked to serve as this year's Columbus Day Parade Grand Marshal

You may be interested