The Fire Department is one of 13 various departments in the City, and one of the largest. Each department serves the community by committing to the mission of the City of Orange “to be committed to excellent service for our residents, businesses and visitors.” The Fire Department delivers on this mission statement by “preventing or minimizing the loss of life and property from the adverse effects of fire, medical emergencies, and dangerous conditions created by man or nature.”
There is a saying that “people call the fire department when they don’t know who else to call.” This is what the men and women of the Orange City Fire Department prepare and train for every day. To serve the approximately 135,000 residents of the City, the Fire Department staffs eight fire stations distributed strategically throughout the community for rapid response. Three shifts of thirty-nine firefighters staff the stations on a rotating schedule. They staff apparatus comprised of fire engines and rescue ambulances; a truck, rescue squad, and command coach to provide a varied emergency response capability.
The Orange City Fire Department stands in a constant state of readiness to provide adequate and competent response when the community indeed “doesn’t know who else to call.” They retool equipment and apparatus on a continuous basis to stay current with medical, technical rescue, terrorism, mass casualty and firefighting needs, among others.
The staff of the department provides the vision, planning and coordination for that response capability. It also ensures an adequate level of fire prevention and hazardous materials incident prevention. Please read on to see how our staff members work together to fulfill the missions of the City and the Fire Department:
About Our Staff
Fire Chief Bart Lewis provides the vision and leadership for the 136 members of the organization, and represents the needs and input from the Department to the city manager and other department heads. He directly supervises the emergency medical services (EMS manager), the operations chief and the services chief.
Division Chief Frank Eickhoff manages the Operations Division. He coordinates the operations of the Orange City Fire Department with the operations of the other fire jurisdictions in Orange County for a seamless response to incidents. Also, he spends much of his time identifying and preparing his division for unique response challenges in the community – wildland fires, urban search and rescue (US&R), and highrise fires being among these. Administratively, the operations chief administers the workers’ compensation program, and develops policy and procedure in collaboration with the other chief officers. He supervises the three battalion chiefs which command the three respective shifts of firefighters, in addition to supervising the department training officer.
Christopher Boyd, Robert Stefano and Jack Thomas are the shift battalion chiefs, providing command functions at emergency incidents. They also assist the operations chief with additional identification of operational needs. They share responsibility for various department responsibilities and programs.
The department training officer, Captain Kevin Southerland, works to ensure the proficiency of new firefighter recruits and the on-going skills maintenance of experienced personnel. The training officer is also active in the continuing development of urban search and rescue (US&R), and is internationally recognized as a leader in that discipline.
The Emergency Medical Services program is managed by Suzanne Goodrich, RN, MSN. With almost 80% of OFD requests for service being medically related, Suzanne has worked to bring the EMS program to a new level in providing care to our sick and injured citizens through her involvement with Quality and Continuous Improvement Programs at the local and state level. EMS Administrative Clerk Linda Salassupports the Emergency Medical Services program.
The Services Division reports to Division Chief Pat Dibb. He manages the Fire Prevention Section and the administration function of the Department. He also serves as the departmental terrorism liaison officer as part of his additional responsibility as Disaster Preparedness Program Manager.
Fire Administration manages the selection and hiring of personnel, payroll, apparatus and equipment repair and replacement. Administrative Captain Doug Fackiner prepares and oversees the department's budget, purchasing and facilities maintenance. Senior Finance Clerk Jennifer Wilson-Charlessupports the administrative captain by taking care of department finances, and by working with various vendors.
Captain Ed Engler serves as the deputy fire marshal. His responsibilities include fire-safety- and hazardous-materials-specialist support, special projects and motion picture film safety coordination.
Hazardous Materials Specialists Brad Goodrich and Rena Davis handle responsibilities including the management of the City’s Underground Storage Tank Program and the Certified Unified Program Agency Participating Agency Disclosure Program. They oversee 450 hazardous materials disclosure locations and over 90 underground storage tank locations. They also conduct “hazardous occupancy” inspections.
Fire Safety Specialists Wendy Saunders, Janna Doty, Rosie Flores and Raymi Wun are responsible for traditional fire- and life-safety inspections. The plan review coordinator meets with developers to discuss fire department construction requirements, and manages the fire department plan review function for the department. The institutional inspector inspects those occupancies in the City, issues fire clearances for all State-licensed care facilities, and assists the public with special events planning. The weed abatement and fuel modification inspector is responsible for the management of the wildland urban-interface fuel modification and weed abatement programs. This specialist also inspects the twenty-nine high-rise buildings in the city. The new-construction inspector confirms that the actual “bricks and mortar” newly constructed in the City actually match what was proposed on the blue-prints. These inspections cover the whole City, and range from single-family dwellings to highrise buildings.
Firefighter Keith Marshall serves as the departmental fire investigator, conducting fire cause and origin investigations. The investigator conducts fire “cause and origin” investigations with related follow-up, and also counsels juvenile fire setters. The investigator also addresses various and sundry crimes related to the fire service, including inspection fraud and EMS abuse.