Positively Osceola asked a number of positive leaders in the community to share their hope and their plans for the new year, and how we can encourage and support each other in 2022. We asked Andrew Sullivan, Public Information Coordinator with Osceola County Fire Rescue & EMS, to share his hope and outlook for 2022.
After a 2021 that set records for both overall call responses and for pediatric drowning incidents, Osceola Fire Rescue & EMS is looking forward to a positive 2022 that sees us connecting with the community now more than ever before.
Of course, good news came from last year: Our own Lt. Robert Botkin and Financial Compliance Manager Christie Dyer-Kilcoyne succeeded in bringing $5.4 million in FEMA S.A.F.E.R. Grant money to the department, allowing us to hire more than 20 new firefighters. Those two were recognized recently as Osceola County’s employees of the month in recognition for their work in securing these needed funds.
And with a bolstered staff, our soon-to-be-constructed Station 67 near Austin-Tindall Park will have crews ready and waiting to serve residents once complete. New stations are also something we look forward to in 2022, with this year’s County budget allocating not only for Station 67, but a new Station 45 to be located on 535 near Osceola Parkway and a replacement Station 65 to be located within Osceola County in Poinciana. With these new stations, nearby residents may see reductions in their insurance rates and call response times.
2022 also brings a renewed focus to engaging with our community. Fire and life safety presentations are available to schools and groups again through our Public Education efforts, and our department will be hosting a series of Station Open House events throughout the year… the first of which will be January 22 at our Station 63 on Cross Prairie Parkway.
So from all of us at Osceola County Fire Rescue & EMS, we look forward to the potential 2022 brings, and we hope each of you has a happy – and safe – New Year.