Orange County fire Chief Otto Drozd resigns effective May 31

Mayor names Jim Fitzgerald new chief


ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – In a surprising decision, veteran Orange County fire Chief Otto Drozd III resigned his position as head of Orange County Fire Rescue effective May 31.

Drozd has served as chief for the county since 2012, implementing cutting-edge drone technology in search and rescue calls, as well as fighting fires.

In a written statement, the outgoing chief said in part:  "I am confident that we have improved Orange County Fire and Rescue beyond what many thought possible through our joint efforts. We are a better fire service organization today than when I joined and have many capable professionals within our ranks to carry the work forward with passion and commitment.”

A source familiar with the decision told News 6 there was no indication Drozd was pressured to resign and the decision was "amicable."

Mayor Jerry Demings commended him for his service and has named James Fitzgerald as the new fire chief.

In a letter to the Board of County Commissioners, Demings said Fitzgerald will be confirmed on May 7 to allow for a smooth four-week transition.

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