Orange Lands Federal Grant For 45 Firefighters

January 13, 2014

Orange County was awarded a $6.5 million federal grant to fund up to 45 new firefighters, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, announced today.

"The firefighters will assist in enhancing our ability to respond to all manner of emergencies," said Orange fire Chief Otto Drozd. "Given the severe economic downturn of the last several years the department would not have been in the financial position to afford the additional firefighters supplied by the grant."

Orange applied for the grant several months ago. Grayson said his office supported the Federal Emergency Management Agency award through its Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER program.

Grayson said the award was partly a by-product of the grants coordination system he's set up, and the full-time grant writer he's hired.

"Thanks to this $6.5 million grant, Orange County’s fire department will have the money to hire 45 new firefighters to serve in our community," Grayson said in a statement.

Drozd said it has not been determined when the new firefighters would come on board.