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Orange County Commissioners will Choose a New Fire Chief Tomorrow


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Demings said Fitzgerald had thirty six years of experience in the Orange County Fire Rescue. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Demings said Fitzgerald had thirty six years of experience in the Orange County Fire Rescue. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Orange County Commissioners will vote tomorrow on whether James Fitzgerald will be the county’s new fire chief.

Former Chief Otto Drozd resigned in April.

Orange County Deputy Fire Chief James Fitzgerald was recommended for the role by County Mayor Jerry Demings.

Demings said Fitzgerald had thirty six years of experience in the Orange County Fire Rescue.

In a letter to the County Commissioners he recommended Fitzgerald saying:

“Throughout his lengthy career with OCFRD, Chief Fitzgerald had provided steady leadership to the department’s personnel and has assured our organization’s constant growth across all fronts to meet the public safety demands of our community.”

Fitzgerald has served as second in command to former Orange County Fire Chief Otto Drozd since 2012. He was also interim fire chief for a year in 2011.

Deputy Chief Jim Fitzgerald who has 40 years of service with Orange County Fire/Rescue will lead the department June 1..

Deputy Chief Jim Fitzgerald. Photo courtesy of Orange County Fire Rescue

If approved, Fitzgerald’s first day would be May 19.

Drozd-who lead the organization for almost 7 years-resigned in April. 

He didn’t give an explanation for his resignation.

In a letter to Demings he said he planned on resigning May 31 and said:

“It is my sincere hope that the next Fire Chief will be supported in the work that lies ahead and I am committed to be a resource to our community going forward.”

If you’d like to listen to the full story, please click on the clip above.


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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

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Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied writing at the University of Michigan. She trained in public radio at WDET’s Detroit newsroom, and is really excited ... Read Full Bio »

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