By Debby Schamber
The Orange Leader
Lewis Hogan, 34, of Little Cypress, was named as the new fire chief of Emergency Services District No. 3, after a late Tuesday night meeting with the board of commissioners.
The former chief, Elgin Browning was let go and all ties severed when the board decided to go a different way and not employ a full time fire chief. However, ESD No. 3 does employ three firefighters that work full-time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“He came along at a good time,” said Joe Parkhurst, president of the ESD No. 3 board. “The new chief will be on a volunteer basis.”
The West Orange native is a former member of the West Orange Volunteer Fire Department. He began his firefighting career at the age of 14 as a junior firefighter. After he turned 18 years old, he was able to become a firefighter.
During his 11 years at WOVFD he served as fire marshal, captain and training officer. He has moved to Little Cypress and since that time he has served for three years as fire safety inspector and is on the fire brigade at his full-time job at Firestone.
“I certainly think he will do a good job,” Parkhurst said. “He has a long list of credentials and has good ideas and is good with people.”
One of the biggest issues Hogan hopes to address is community involvment.
“We want to be there for the community and have them involved,” Hogan said. “The fire department was founded on volunteers.”
The department is still looking for firefighters to join ESD No. 3. The department would welcome back any former firefighters or anyone one wanting to become a firefighter needs to go the the station and fill out an application, Hogan said.
ESD No. 3 was founded more than 40 years ago. The annual charter contract with the Little Cypress Volunteer Fire Department will expire this week. However, a contract has been to give a contract to a group of firefighters known as Little Cypress Fire and Rescue.
Firefighters with Little Cypress Fire and Resue are ready to pick up right where the Little Cypress Volunteer Fire Department left off.
“None of the services are going to change,” Hogan said. “Everything is going to remain the same.”
The board of five commissioners will still govern over the ESD, although they will contract with the Little Cypress Fire and Rescue to provide services.
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