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History

WC Sherman, who had been a member of the Boston Fire Department, came to Orlando in 1883 and opened a jewelry store. He immediately organized a volunteer fire company and became its first chief. Their original equipment consisted of a hose, reel and a bucket brigade. In 1885 the men asked the town council for a horse, harness and hose wagon.

In 1837, 19 years after the United States acquired the vast Florida territories from Spain, the first American settlers started moving to the site, which is now known as Orlando. In 1850, the new town was named Jernigan, after Aaron Jernigan, a trader and early settler. In 1857, the name was changed to Orlando, purportedly in honor of Orlando Reeves, a soldier who was killed in a battle with Seminole Indians.

In the late 1850’s and 1860’s, Central Florida was untamed land occupied by Indians. Orlando consisted of a few shacks and three or four saloons. Cattle were the principle industry in the region.

The first fire-related injuries were recorded in the 1850’s.

1863: The first courthouse was built, which also served as a school and church.

1875: Orlando became incorporated with a population of 85.

1880: Orlando’s city limits were extended one mile in each direction from the courthouse.

1881: Orlando got its first railroad station and the town's population of 200 began to grow rapidly.

1883: It took a near disastrous fire to convince the town it needed fire protection.  Mrs. Basset, owner of a hat and dressmaking shop, accidentally set fire to some flammable and explosive material in the front part of her store. Mrs. Basset ran screaming in the street and men came running from every direction. She had to be forcibly restrained from re-entering the building to help in the rescue of her daughter. Two men, P. Hyer and C. Graves rushed in and rescued the child.

This incident inspired the citizens and moved William “WC” Sherman to jump into action that very day. WC Sherman started the first volunteer fire department and was named Fire Chief. This organization consisted of only 6 members (WC Sherman, Ben Bartlett, Tom Mann, J Walter Hosier, JW Gettier and Macy). Gettier, Macy and Sherman are known as the founding fathers of the Orlando Fire Department. The department grew rapidly to 12 members. Their equipment consisted of a hose, hose reel, bucket brigade and a painter’s ladder on a wagon hauled around by hand.

1884: January 12 marked the worst Downtown fire in Orlando’s history. The fire destroyed a large portion of the Business District of Orlando. The Orange County Reporter newspaper plant was completely destroyed along with DeLaney’s Grocery Store, Bassett Millinery Store and Gillam’s Drug Store.

It was during this year that the population grew to 1,666 and the City began using fireplugs with the establishment of Waterworks at a cost of $2,000 per year.

The Orlando Fire Department's organization was the result of two significant events in 1884. The first event was the major Downtown fire; the second was a series of articles written by E.H. Gore in the Orange County Reporter. He wrote his concerns over the need for fire protection and fires that had ravaged other Florida cities. This combination resulted in the organization of the Orlando Fire Department in 1885.

1885: John Weeks was appointed the 1st official Fire Chief. (WC Sweet was named first assistant). Orlando’s volunteer fire department consisted of “Orlando Hook and Ladder Company No. 1” and “Orlando Hose Company No. 1”. Three fire companies (evidently volunteer) were organized in this year and were consolidated into one company in July.

Mayor Matthew Marks planted the first oak tree as part of a $500 beautification project that resulted in Orlando being nicknamed, "The City Beautiful" 20 years later.

1888: William “WC” Sherman was appointed the 2nd Fire Chief .

1890: Approximately six volunteer companies began using the name “Orlando Fire Department”. The City's population had grown to 10,000 residents. These were good times for the bustling community and its young promising citrus industry.

1892: Mechanics Hose Company No. 2 is now recorded as the Mechanics Hose and Engine Company No. 2.

1893: John W. Gettier was appointed the 3rd Fire Chief. All volunteer companies consolidated under “Mechanics Hose Company No. 1”.

1894: Things changed this year when "The Big Freeze" swept through Central Florida, destroying acres of citrus groves. As thousands fled the economic disaster, the population fell to below 2,481. The railroad continued to bring people to Orlando after that, but it would be another thirty years before the population would rise to more than 10,000 again.

1896: George LeMoyne was awarded the contract for construction of the first town hall. This building was a two-story brick building on the north side of Oak (Wall) Street.

A 30-foot high modern tower was in the rear of the building, which hung a bell with two ropes suspended, reaching the ground. When fire was discovered, it was the duty of the person finding it to run to the tower, grab both ropes and ring the bell until all able-bodied citizens were awake and out for duty with blankets, ladders and rope. About the only water available was the well on Pine Street, immediately east of Orange Avenue and the well on Central Avenue that was on courthouse grounds.

1899: Orlando’s City Council purchased a $5,000 fire engine from American-La-France Fire Engine Company.

1903: One of the most outstanding fires of the early days was the Burden's Arcade Hotel Building fire. A "baby" hurricane was blowing the night of the charity ball. Firemen were attending the fashionable event in evening clothes when the fire bell rang. The blaze consumed two adjoining houses very quickly. Blazing shingles were blown a mile east of town setting the pine woods on fire. Other red-hot shingles ascended high into the heavens and dropped hissing into Lake Eola. One fireman, H. Clark Robertson, almost lost his life. Armed with only a fire bucket, he found himself on the three-story frame hotel surrounded by flames. He jumped through the fire and over the old-fashioned veranda railing. He made a spectacular, safe landing on the ground below with all of his hair burned close to the scalp but otherwise uninjured. The old hotel, which burned to the ground, was located at Robinson Street and Orange Avenue.

1904: William H. Matthews became the 4th Fire Chief.  Town council began drafting and enacting ordinances.

1905: The old Southern Methodist Academy, built in 1884, caught on fire and was badly damaged. It was replaced by a new brick school building that later became City Hall. The site is presently the location of Beardall Park.

1906: A fire started at the Lockhart Lumber Mill. Strong winds drove the fire throughout the lumberyard and into a nearby freight depot, igniting several freight cars. The Orlando Fire Department had just left to attend the State Fireman's Competition in Tampa. When the fire alarm was sounded, men volunteered to fight the fire, but an old hose was all that was available to use against the raging inferno. The situation worsened when the water utility company increased the pressure in the water mains causing the old pipes to burst in the Marks Street area, sending a flood down Orange Avenue. No water reached South Street where it was desperately needed. Lockhart's Lumber Mill went up in smoke. The freight depot and several freight cars of the Atlantic Coast Lines Railroad were also consumed in the blaze. Mr. Lockhart had no insurance and the fire loss was $50,000.

1907: OFD has five fire horses to pull fire wagons.

1908: William Dean became 5th Fire Chief.

1910: Under Fire Chief Dean, OFD bought an automobile and turned it into a combination chemical car and chief’s car. The City's population was approximately 3,894.

1915: OFD received new motorized fire trucks, replacing the horse-drawn wagons.

1919: On March 25, Firehouse No. 1 moved from Oak (Wall) Street to 19 North Main Street (corner of Magnolia Avenue and Wall Street). The total cost of the station was $17,708. The old station was abandoned.

1920: The City's population grew to 9,282.

1921: A change in the 10-14 hour, two-platoon system was initiated around this time. The shifts would alternate once a week on Saturday instead of every two weeks. A shift would work 24 hours on duty one Saturday and then would be off 24 hours the next Saturday to accommodate this shift change.

1923: OFD became a fully paid department under Mayor Duckworth. Chief Dean became the first paid Fire Chief during his 16th in the position. He was paid $100 per month.

1925: Firehouse No. 2 was built and put into service on Parramore Avenue and Central Boulevard.

1926: Firehouse No. 3 was built and put into service on Orlando Avenue near Dade Street.

1927: Firefighter Roy Pratt was the first member of the Orlando Fire Department killed in the line of duty.

1930: The City's population reached 27,330 according to the 1930 census.

1935: The State Legislature passed an act creating civil service status for policemen and firemen. The Orlando Civil Service Board was born.

1936:

  • Gideon Dean was appointed the 6th Fire Chief.
  • The Ladies’ State Auxiliary was created.

1937:

  • OFD was authorized to answer calls outside the City limits, but only if lives and property were endangered, marking the beginning of mutual aid agreements. A communications radio room was constructed on the southeast side of Orlando.
  • Retired Fire Chief William Dean was laid to rest on January 24. He was Fire Chief from 1908-1936. He was a member of the department from its earliest days. At the time of his death, newspaper articles wrote Chief Dean was "...a quiet unassuming man, Orlando probably owes as much to his careful persistent effort to reduce the fire hazards as to any other man who has lived in Orlando during this time."

1940: Maxie G. Bennett was appointed the 7th Fire Chief.

1944:

  • Firefighter Roger Corum was killed in the line of duty. He died when his apparatus struck a tree after another vehicle struck his engine.
  • In June, The Orlando Fire Department received a certificate for national recognition among cities of its class for distinguished work in fire prevention from the U.S. Department of Commerce. This was a major accomplishment because it occurred in an era when the fire service was primarily oriented toward field operations on a national basis.

1946:

  • OFD received its first rescue boat, donated by the Elks Club.
  • The City Commission approved the first radio communications system. The Federal Communications Commission in Washington D.C. approved a frequency modulation transmitter and the necessary equipment.

1949: Turbulent times came to the Orlando Fire Department from 1949 through 1952. After the removal of Fire Chief Maxie G. Bennett, Assistant Chief Loy Davis was acting Fire Chief for three years, but was never officially the Fire Chief. Therefore, he is not included in the men who held the office of Fire Chief of the Orlando Fire Department. Davis returned to the position of Assistant Chief when Mayor J. Rolfe Davis appointed Fire Chief Paul Pennington in 1953.

1950: Orlando's population had grown to 51,826.

1953:

  • Paul Pennington was appointed the 8th Fire Chief.
  • Orlando’s Civil Service Board announced the beginning of entrance examinations in the police and fire departments.

“To be eligible, the applicants must be residents of the City at least a year and be between the ages of 21 and 30. Only white males are eligible for the fire department. Both White and Negro males are eligible for the police department.” (The preceding excerpt appeared in an article printed by the Orlando Sentinel. The racial eligibility requirements would remain enforced for another fifteen years before black applicants would be permitted employment in the Orlando Fire Department.)

1954:

  • Work hours dropped from 84 to 72 hours per week. Firefighters of Florida were seeking legislative support for a bill regulating the hours of work for firemen. The proposed act would limit the maximum number of duty hours to 120 in any two-calendar weeks. Orlando's firefighters were working an 84-hour workweek, while many of the South's larger cities were on 60-hour workweeks. In the majority of Pacific Coast cities, the maximum was 56-hours or less. New York City, Columbus, Ohio and Flint, Michigan were on 48-hour workweeks.
  • The department was up to its full strength of 60 trained men.
  • The Orlando City Council raised salaries for firefighters. The raises recommended by Fire Chief Paul Pennington were:
PositionMonthly Salary
Fire Chief$435.00 - $460.00
Instructor$352.50 - $365.00
Lieutenant$320.00 - $350.00
Engineer$300.00 - $350.00
Mechanic$305.00 - $325.00
Fireman 1st Class$290.00 - $300.00
Probationary$255.00 - $260.00

1955:

  • Two new firehouses, stations 4 and 5, were opened; their cost was $90,000 each.
  • The 60-room Avalon Hotel on North Orange Avenue was swept by fire in a spectacular blaze that brought out the City's entire firefighting force. All three Orlando Fire Department companies answered the alarm. Winter Park, Orlando Air Force Base and Holden Heights departments sent men and equipment.

The 30-year-old brick and wood hotel was a favorite for traveling salesmen. On the night of the fire, two Orlando patrolmen and hotel employees awoke nine guests after an Orlando Sentinel employee discovered the blaze while on his way home. Although the fire on the first floor was confined almost entirely to the liquor store, none of the operators of four ground floor businesses were able to save any of their merchandise. Along with the liquor store, there was a drugstore, a restaurant and a rug shop. The blaze raged for more than four hours and water damage from the fire hose was extensive. Firemen watered down frame houses to the rear of the hotel and a one-story block building to the south, which helped confine the blaze to the hotel building.

With only one aerial ladder in operation, firemen were forced to climb atop an adjoining house, owned by the same company, to put water on the roof of the building. However, Fire Chief Pennington said he did not think he could have brought the blaze under control any sooner with an additional ladder truck. From the third floor, the building appeared as if a giant bomb had scored a direct hit.

  • June 29: the Orlando Sentinel reported the Orlando Civil Service Board placed 13 men on the fire department eligibility list to provide manpower for two new stations. Those approved for the fire department were:
    • CC Ballard, 27
    • George C. Bookhardt, 22
    • Wayne F. Burns, 21
    • Will C. Calhoun, 22
    • Ralph C. Deffenbaugh, 26
    • Rayford G. Farless, Jr., 24
    • BG Farmer, 27
    • Joe S. Gray, 21
    • AH Hopcraft, 28
    • Freddie E. Law, 24
    • Harold P. Matthews, 27
    • John E. Osteen, 27
    • Ike B. Ross, 21

1956: The Orlando Fire Department received 713 calls, traveled 3,014 miles within the City and spent 359 hours fighting fires.  Fire losses totaled in excess of $300,000.

1961: Orlando firemen organized Local No. 1365 of the International Association of Fire Fighters.

1962: The workweek dropped to 66 2/3 hours with one-half Kelly days.

1964: The third shift was established on a 56-hour workweek.

1966: Old firehouse number 2 was demolished on Parramore Avenue and Central Boulevard and new firehouse number 2 was built at the same site.

1967: OFD moved into its new McCoy Jetport Facility, firehouse number 8. This station was constructed beside the eastern runway. The department also added one Class A Triple-Combination Seagrave Pumper, 1,000 GPM with Special Foam System.

1968: Melvin Rivenbark was appointed the 9th Fire Chief.

1968:

  • On June 10, the first African Americans were hired by the Orlando Fire Department. The first group included: Harley Leak, Timothy Jackson, Samuel Williams, Willie Green, J. L. Hawkins and Davell R. Davis.
  • Orlando’s first strong sprinkler ordinance was implemented.
  • Firehouse number 7 was built, dedicated and in service by September.
  • Firehouse number 9 was built and put in service.

1969: John Lewkowicz, a 29-year-old, probationary firefighter, was killed at South Street and Parramore Avenue en route to an alarm.

1972:

  • Assistant Chief G. Calvin Bookhardt lost his life at a fire scene.  Bookhardt Memorial Park on West Central Boulevard was later named after him.
  • Firehouse number 3 was rebuilt at its new site in College Park on Elizabeth Avenue.
  • Delta Burke was crowned Miss Flame.

1973:

  • Charles S. Parker became 10th Fire Chief.
  • Firehouse number 10 was dedicated and put into service.
  • Firehouse number 11 was dedicated and put into service. (It would be 20 years before another OFD firehouse was built.)
  • OFD’s service area increased to 66 square miles.
  • The fire department had 27 pieces of apparatus and 350 personnel.
  • Firefighters went to a 42-hour week.
  • Firefighters Local Union - 1365 and City of Orlando negotiated for a contract marking the first time the City bargained with a labor union.
  • ISO rating improved from four to three.

1974:

  • OFD’s administrative offices moved from station number 1 to MJB, 100 South Hughey Avenue.
  • The Training Academy moved from station number 6 to the Orlando Jetport.
  • The department’s computer system went online after two years of planning.

1975: OFD begins the first paramedic program.

1977:

  • E. “Gene” Reynolds became 11th Fire Chief.
  • The Orlando Fire Department began providing Advanced Life Support service.
  • The Training Academy came under the jurisdiction of the Orlando-Orange Fire Training Academy.
  • District 3 separated from the City of Orlando and became GOAAs Fire Department.
  • The Ladies’ State Auxiliary was created in 1936 and OFD began their Auxiliary in 1977. Their canteen service was created to serve hot or cold drinks to firefighters at major fires or disasters.

1978:

  • Old firehouse number 3 was moved to Loch Haven Park. It was leased to the Orange County Historical Museum and opened in 1984.
  • The first annual “Fire vs. Fuzz” football game was played between OFD and OPD, with OFD winning 33-6.

1979:

  • The Training Division, under Assistant Chief Charlie Lewis, published the OFD Fireground Command SOPs.
  • The Training Academy's five-story training tower was completed at the OOFTA. The cost was $140,000.
  • Station number 6’s new station was built on East Robinson to replace the one at Herndon Airport.
  • The National Fire Incident Reporting System was implemented to improve accuracy in gathering emergency incident data.
  • The Public Education Division initiated the Junior Fire Marshal Program.

1980:

  • Orange County and Orlando Fire Departments began negotiations for a Joint Response Agreement.
  • The Orlando Fire Department changed its name to the Orlando Fire and Rescue Department (after one year it was changed back).
  • OFD Explorer Post was established in conjunction with the Boy Scouts of America.

1981: All dispatchers and supervisors in the Communications Section became EMS state certified.

1982: The first female firefighters were hired; Suzie Paxton (retired 2002 as Lieutenant) and Kathy Johnston (retired 2007 as Deputy Chief)

1983:

  • The Hazmat Van was placed in service along with the new dive van, mini tower and public education van.
  • Metro West fire protection planning began.
  • The Data Processing Section was established for daily input of all emergency response data.
  • Staff & Line moved into its new facility at 800 West Gore Street.
  • A robot named “Spinner” (a walking/ talking fire hydrant) was purchased for the Public Education Division for fire safety education.
  • After a history of traditionally red apparatus, OFD changes to red & white.

1984:

  • The Arson/Bomb Squad was formed at OFD, along with one OPD officer, to conduct a unified investigation into arson and bomb cases. When the OPD officer retired in 1993, Arson/Bomb Squad became staffed entirely by OFD.
  • Fire Prevention implemented the Lock Box program.
  • Orlando is now a thriving metropolis with a population of 143,000.

1987:

  • Station number 9 was relocated to the Rosemont area at South Lake Orlando Parkway and Mercy Drive.
  • Station number 8 was reopened on Shoalcreek Drive.

1988: OFD's ISO rating went from three to two.

1989: Charlie Lewis was appointed the 12th Fire Chief.

1991:

  • OFD began to offer ALS coverage from every firehouse.
  • The Administrative Offices moved from MJB to the newly built City Hall located at 400 South Orange Avenue.

1993:

  • Robert A. Bowman was appointed the 13th Fire Chief.
  • The Citizens Fire Academy (CFA) program began; the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program also began.

1993: The OPD officer retired from the Arson/Bomb Squad; the Special Investigative Services Division became staffed entirely by OFD personnel.

1994:

  • Station number 12 was established with a temporary trailer placed in the future site housing one Rescue Unit.
  • An Annexation Fire Protection Agreement with Orange County Fire Department was signed to provide joint fire protection services for the Lake Nona area.
  • A Mutual Aid Response Agreement was signed with area fire departments.
  • The Learn-Not-To-Burn Program was placed in all Orlando preschool locations.
  • The Emergency Management Section was established for planning, responding and recovering from City disasters.

1995:

  • The Neighborhood Emergency Training (NET) program began.
  • A Traffic Preemption System was installed in major intersections.
  • The Plans Review Section was integrated with other City Departments’ permitting sections to form Central Permitting on the first floor of City Hall.

1996:

  • Donald W. Harkins was appointed the 14th Fire Chief.
  • Station number 12 was opened in the Metro West area; a temporary trailer had been used since 1994.
  • Kathy Johnston-Miller was appointed the first female Assistant Chief in department history.
  • David Andrew was appointed the first Hispanic Assistant Chief in department history.
  • A new SmartNet 800MHz advanced trunked radio system was installed in Communications.
  • The Elderlinks Program began to allow OFD to interact daily with the community’s elderly citizens. In this program, OFD can link seniors with appropriate community service agencies when they are in need of help.

1997:

  • The first Technical Rescue Unit (TR-6) was put in service.
  • All operations personnel were issued portable radios.
  • The Honor Guard was reinstated.
  • The first official flag was designed and accepted by OFD.
  • $1 million dollars was spent to replace firefighters’ protective equipment with state of the art protective clothing and Scott 4.5 self-contained breathing apparatus with integrated PASS alarms.
  • $80,000 was used to purchase and upgrade fitness equipment for all firehouses.
  • Training and EMS were merged into a single division.

1998:

  • Thermal imaging cameras were placed in-service on all tower apparatus.
  • Vista East annexation began.
  • Increased the ALS fleet to include all engines, rescues and towers.
  • Reorganization of the department occurred:
  • 1 Deputy Chief position was eliminated
  • New Assistant Chiefs positions were created to head the Special Operations and Planning & Resource Management Division.
  • The first accelerated paramedic program was completed with 15 new paramedics certified in seven months.
  • The Naval Training Center Fire Department disbanded resulting from the closing of the NTC base.  The City of Orlando assumed full responsibility for fire protection at both former military bases.
  • Tower number 11 was upgraded to a full service tower apparatus.
  • A new fleet of medium-duty rescue units were ordered.
  • A new graphics and warning package for apparatus was designed.
  • Rescue number 8 was put into service.
  • Southport becomes Orlando’s first fully sprinklered single-family residential community.

1999:

  • 100 sets of Nomex Wildland firefighting gear were purchased.
  • Obtained State Licensure for ALS pre-hospital ground transport.
  • Reinstituted dress uniforms for all ranks.
  • Initiated Tactical Medic Program to train and equip paramedics to be part of OPD's SWAT team.
  • Expanded Immunization Program to Health Check Program, to provide monthly health screening along with flu shots and immunizations in high-rise apartments. This program targets the City's elderly population who are unable to mobilize to various locations.
  • Agreement negotiated with Southeast property owners to require residential sprinklers as part of the land development code. Agreement also reached to utilize residential fire sprinklers in NTC redevelopment.

2000:

  • Charlie Walker was appointed the 15th Fire Chief.
  • Firehouse number 13 is put into service.
  • OFD hired first female Fire Marshal.
  • EMS Bike Team put in service.
  • The Training Division added a full-time Quality Assurance Program and Manager, Recruiting Lieutenant and Firefighter and a Training Officer.

2001:

  • OFD took over the Fire Museum (original OFD Firehouse No. 3) at Loch Haven Park.
  • OFD hired its first Planner.
  • In October, an Anti-Terrorism Task Force was activated.
  • USAR 1 (Urban Search and Rescue unit) was placed into service later became Heavy Rescue 1.

2002:

  • Engine number 14 is put into service at firehouse number 8 to cover new eastern annexed area of the City until firehouse number 14 was completed in 2003.
  • Tower number 9 is put into service.

2003:

  • Robert A. Bowman was appointed Fire Chief for the second time as the 16th Chief.
  • Firehouse number 14 temporary trailer was constructed and in-service with one engine.

2004:

  • OFD begins changing colors of apparatus to red and black with gold lettering.
  • SOP manual undergoes complete revision under Assistant Chief John Miller.
  • In June, the Fire Fit Kids pilot program was implemented in four community centers, with the goal to place the program into all middle schools by August 2005.
  • OFD adopted the IAFC/IAFF fitness program, also known as Peer Fitness. This program was developed as a national standard through a joint effort between the IAFC/IAFF and ACE (American Exercise Council). The program is designed to evaluate and improve overall wellness of firefighters and to help them better prepare for the physical demands related to the job.

2005:

  • Orlando Firefighters Pipes & Drums (OFP&D) was formed by a group of OFD personnel, organized by Engineer Mike Stallings. In December, the OFP&D performed for the first time at the Florida Citrus Bowl Parade in Downtown Orlando.
  • On May 7, the Orlando Fire Department celebrated its 120-year anniversary at the Orlando Fire Museum.
  • October 1, the Orlando Fire Prevention Rally was held in conjunction with the re-launch of the Orlando Fire Museum and the inaugural Firefighter Chili Cook-Off.

2006: James Reynolds was appointed the 17th Fire Chief.

2006:

  • In March, OFD began a 2-year accreditation process with the Commission of Fire Accreditation. Once accredited, a fire service agency must be recertified every 5 years.
  • A commission was formed to determine if combining the Orange County Fire Rescue Division and the Orlando Fire Department would be feasible. In May, the City of Orlando and Orange County Consolidation Committee met and final conclusions and recommendations were accepted from the fire/rescue subcommittee in favor of not consolidating.
  • The second public education safety house was purchased with a grant from the Department of Homeland Security, approved by City Council on September 18. This safety house includes:
    • A tornado and hurricane simulation unit
    • Stove top burners and burning trash cans for kitchen fire safety demos
    • Heated doors with smoke coming from underneath to simulate fire conditions
    • Shaking mini blinds/simulated lightning and blackout shades
    • Two 15,000 BTU air conditioning units
    • A 24" television with DVD/VCR player and five speaker sound system for presentations
    • On September 16, the  groundbreaking ceremony was held for Firehouse number 17 in Millenia. McCree Construction was the architect and builder. Facility is operational by September, 2007.
  • On December 14, the groundbreaking for. McCree Construction was the architect and builder. Facility is operational by January, 2008.
  • Announcement of a new Firehouse number 1 to be located at 78 West Central Boulevard. The new facility will be the lower three floors of a nine-story high-rise and serves as the new headquarters for the Orlando Fire Department. Wharton-Smith, Inc. and Schweizer Waldroff Architects, Inc. are the architect and build team. Facility expected to be operational March, 2009.

2007:

  • In August, the EMS Division began training and certifying all OFD paramedics in PALS (Pediatric Advanced Life Support). This is an American Heart Association course similar to ACLS, but focuses on pediatric patients.
  • Firehouse number 15, with Engine 15 and Woods 15, placed in service on August 25.
  • In November, Firehouse number 14, went in service in its new permanent building.

2008:

  • New Firehouse number 7 was built on Goldwyn Avenue. It houses Engine 7, Tower 7 (replaced Tower 2) and Rescue 7.
  • In January, Firehouse number 16 in Mud Lake with Engine 16 was put into service.
  • Effective March 1, the City of Orlando has a Class 1 rating. This rating places Orlando Fire Department in the top one tenth of one-percent of over 45,000 rated fire departments in the nation.

2009: New Firehouse number 1 opened on December 2.

2010: John Miller was appointed the 18th Fire Chief.

2013: The department received international accreditation on August 15.

2015: Roderick William was appointed the 19th Fire Chief.