Orange County Fire Services in trouble with many firefighters living outside the state
Thirty seven percent of OCFA firefighters list their primary residence outside of Orange County.
If there's a major disaster, officials at the Orange County Fire Authority might have trouble getting all their firefighters to quickly return to their stations.
That's because some active members of the department live in Colorado, Utah, Texas, and Washington state (map). OCFA Engineer Lloyd Pinel, for example, would have to wait for the next available flight from Third Lake, Ill., The 21-year veteran's home is a 30-minute drive from Lake Michigan, but more than a three-hour flight from his station in Buena Park.
With more than 2,000 miles between his home and his place of work, Pinel has the longest commute of any OCFA firefighter. Without any official restrictions on where they live, 37 percent of OCFA firefighters list their primary residence outside of Orange County with many living in the Inland Empire.
In typical driving conditions with traffic, 10 percent of OCFA personnel can expect to drive more than two hours to reach their stations, according to personnel records requested and reviewed by The Orange County Register. The review also found that among their 821-member department, six captains and three engineers live outside California.
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