Orange County’s Fire Fleet Keeps the Big Rigs Rolling
What has nine bays, 10 technicians, a $9.3 million budget and is responsible for keeping 388 vehicles of all shapes and sizes up and running? If you answered Orange County Fire Rescue Department’s Fleet Services (OCFR), you’re correct. However, there’s much more to keeping the fleet tuned-up than meets the eye.
“The role of the 10 fire apparatus technicians and fleet staff are critical to the success of our overall lifesaving mission,” said Orange County Fire Chief James M. Fitzgerald . “They are literally the cog in the wheel that keeps us running.”
OCFR’s Fleet Services core function includes three key areas: vehicle maintenance, fire hose and equipment, and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) for the 22nd-busiest fire department in the nation.
The fire apparatus technicians and employees are part of the fire rescue family. Their mechanic division operates under the same roof with Orange County’s Fleet Management because they maintain county government vehicles.
The maintenance of the 229 fire trucks, boats and specialty vehicles are the responsibility of the fire apparatus technicians, given the complexity of operating systems. The balance of the fleet is comprised of 159 cars, vans, SUVs and light trucks, all serviced by the county’s fleet management.
The SCBA division oversees testing and maintenance of masks bottles and air packs, fill station maintenance and air monitor calibration. In the first 11 months of the 2018-19 fiscal year, 305,000-feet of hose was tested in-house.
Fleet Services also places new vehicles in service, decommissions retired vehicles, researches equipment replacements, tests all rescue tools and manages the maintenance schedules of all small engine equipment. They coordinate with Orange County Fleet Management on service for light rolling stock and coordinate with vendors pertaining to pump and ground ladder testing, aerial recertification and services beyond the scope of the shop.
So the next time you’re traveling through Orange County and see one of OCFR’s units on the road, you’ll know it’s one of the fire apparatus technicians who are responsible for keeping them rolling – and more! To learn more about Orange County Fire Rescue, visit www.ocfrd.com.
Photo cutline: A photo of a group of Orange County Fire Rescue Department’s Fleet Services.