Orange County hiring 63 new firefighters

Orange County Fire Rescue is increasing its manpower, drastically, hiring 63 new firefighters. 

The county getting a $9 million grant for the additional positions.

“We were able to receive a federal grant to hire firefighters, and it’s a matching grant,” said Jerry Demings, Orange County Mayor.

Mayor Demings says the staffing increase will make the department more efficient.

“What it allows us to do is add a fourth person on our units, so that really can work to our advantage to cut down on response times, so that when a fire unit responds, they have adequate staff,” Demings said.

This means crews will be able to enter a burning house faster than ever before.

“They have to have four people on scene to go in if there is a true fire they are fighting, and so we don’t have to wait on a secondary unit to come now,” Demings said.

It's critical time that could save a life or home.

“We want to be efficient, rather than send two units, we have one unit that can get to extinguishing a fire," Demings said. "We want to be able to do that in a timely manner."

The new firefighters will help make that goal a reality.

Mayor Demings says he hopes to fill the positions as soon as possible.

“We’re gonna be very active in the coming year looking for fire personnel,” he said.