MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — For the first time in 10 years, officials say all 40 of the full-time positions with the Jackson County Fire Rescue are filled.
Lieutenant Ricky Winget with the Jackson County Fire Rescue has been with the department for 17 years. He said when he started, the department had a full staff, but the over the years, they lost firefighters to other departments.
“Things have gotten better over the last 10 years,” Winget said. “Especially over the last two years.”
Winget said the full staff gives residents the luxury of knowing their firefighters want to serve the community because it’s their community too.
“It’s people from Jackson county or surrounding areas serving Jackson County,” Winget said.
Jackson County Fire Chief, Charlie Brunner, said the full staff is a welcomed moral boost for his crews.
“Some staff are working 48 hours and longer and that takes time out of their personal lives, away from their families,” Brunner said.
At one point the staffing for the Jackson County Fire Department was so low, they were forced to closed down at least one fire station, for one shift on a daily basis.
“We worked ourselves out of that hole and it took a lot of work, a long time, a lot of frustration involved in that but, you know we’re really in a better place now,” Brunner said.
Brunner said their full staff would not have been possible without the support of the community and the county.