Local News

County to review report on Orange Rescue Squad

Posted September 9, 2008

— The Orange County Board of Commissioners will review a report on the Orange County Rescue Squad Tuesday night as part of the ongoing investigation into the squad's practices.

In July, the volunteer squad was asked to stand down after a preliminary report showed some practices that might have endangered squad members and others.

The report to be presented to the commissioners Tuesday, prepared by the Orange County Emergency Manangement Department, outlines specific concerns including:

  • The Orange County Rescue Squad responded to a call of a person in the water on July 17, 2007, but did not bring boat.
  • A squad vehicle responding to a call in June 2008 did not have its doors secured, resulting in equipment falling out along road on the way to the call.
  • Members of the squad showed up 16 times at scenes to which they were not dispatched.

A statement signed by seven Orange County fire chiefs supports the order for the squad to stand down and recommends that it be made permanent. "No consideration should be given to the reinstatement of the Orange County Rescue Squad," the statement concludes.


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  • lode3xpo Sep 10, 2008

    As I see it, the key points made was safety and professionalism. We also need to keep in mind that the emergency services director and 7 chief officers from the county are unified in their concerns about safety as well as performance on scene with this squad.

    Having FDs (paid and volunteer) with light and medium rescue capabilities is very much in alignment with the need of having a highly trained, quick response in the county - here I think the chiefs would agree. This is where the need does not exist anymore in the county for light and medium rescue to be ran independently by a volunteer organization, something the squad failed to realize or plan for.

    We need to get behind the emergency services leadership in the county in developing the level of service required, with proper oversight and leadership. Measured and accountable.

  • chfdcpt Sep 10, 2008

    commonsensical, both the County Manager for Orange Co. and the EM Director where not promoted from within. They were hired from outside the state.

  • commonsensical Sep 10, 2008

    EMSRSQ911 - What will ultimately fix the 'politics' problem is to hire REAL managers for the top posts, rather than promoting from within the ranks based on popularity rather than managerial skills. That will never happen though, since that would serve to destroy the 'good ol' boy' system that's worked so well for so many for so long, to the detriment of the taxpayers.

  • commonsensical Sep 10, 2008

    EMSRSQ911: I agree with you that politics and power play a big part in local government. I will say, however, that I have personally witnessed the operation of the OCRS at emergency scenes. I also have known and worked with several of the volunteers from OCRS. As a 10 year volunteer and 4 year paid fire / EMS provider, I can confirm that there certainly is a valid case regarding their unsafe operating practices, all politics aside.

  • EMSRSQ911 Sep 10, 2008

    Sadly, this is the orchestration of disgruntled former members of the Rescue Squad that now work for EMS and EMS workers that are members of the opposing Fire Departments in a play for power and control. EMS personnel have hated having to be guests at the OCRS base and want to have it as their personal playground. The new EM is unfortunatly unaware of the politics and is being manipulated by his own employees.