TAVARES— Lake County Fire Rescue’s new class of 19 probationary firefighters is nearly through an intensive five week training protocol, which includes search techniques, survival, wildland firefighting, advanced and basic life support, pump engine and truck operations, driving fire apparatus, extrication and more.
“Lake County Fire Rescue responds to a diverse array of calls and we know our firefighters’ skills will be tested daily with a wide range of significant incidents,” said Public Safety Deputy Director John Molenda. “We're excited for these firefighters to come on board and we’re dedicated to providing the specific training key to serving Lake County now and in the future.”
The Lake County Public Safety Department, which oversees the Fire Rescue Division, was notified last year it was awarded a $1.7 million Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant. The grant went toward hiring 15 of the new firefighters, while the remaining four will fill vacant positions.
The new firefighters will be assigned to stations throughout the county, allowing Fire Rescue to staff one new station and add a third firefighter to three outlying stations.
“These staffing changes will dramatically improve response times, increase the safety of citizens and help prevent injury to personnel,” said Lake County Public Safety Director John Jolliff.
The class officially graduates Feb. 10 during a ceremony at Lake Receptions in Mount Dora.
The career firefighters of Lake County Fire Rescue protect county residents and visitors in an area covering approximately 1,200 square miles, with nearly 70,000 residences and up to 2,000 commercial properties.
For more information about Lake County Fire Rescue’s operations, contact Deputy Director John Molenda at 352-343-9458 or email@example.com. For up-to-date news on Lake County Fire Rescue, visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/firerescue, www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFireRescue, or www.twitter.com/lakefirePIO.