Marion County Firefighter Benevolent Fund charity event

Marion County Firefighter Benevolent Fund charity event

Marion County — Marion County Firefighter Benevolent Fund is holding its 5th annual golf tournament on Saturday, May 16, 2015. MCFBF assists the citizens of Marion County and their Firefighters through medical hardships with financial aid and coordinated volunteer services. Some of life’s greatest trials happen suddenly and unexpectedly. MCFBF aims to protect those facing […]

Big win for citizens: Staffing back at fire station 21, but not out of woods yet

Big win for citizens: Staffing back at fire station 21, but not out of woods yet

Marion County — Staffing levels at Marion County Fire Rescue station 21 are to return to normal on May 16 after citizens from On Top of the World and the surrounding areas made phone calls, sent emails, and went to county commission meetings to raise concerns over the reduction of services. In March, due to staffing […]

Re-organization of county administration derailed, for now

Re-organization of county administration derailed, for now

[Last updated on May 6, 2015, at 11:35 p.m.] Ocala, Florida — On Tuesday, the Marion County Board of County Commissioners would not support a motion to move forward with the re-organization of the county’s administration. Many believe the Board’s decision was because the community came together and demanded change after Ocala Post published an […]

Firefighters, EMTs, and residents get a slap in the face; you won’t believe why

Firefighters, EMTs, and residents get a slap in the face; you won’t believe why

[Last updated on May 5, 2015, at 4:10 p.m.] Ocala, Florida — This coming Tuesday, May 5, Marion County commissioners will vote to approve a complete re-organization of county management, which includes appointing a fire chief without an application process or a review of qualifications. County Administrator Bill Kauffman proposed the re-organization. This re-organization is […]

20-year-old in critical condition following crash

20-year-old in critical condition following crash

[Last updated on April 30, 2015, at 7:21 a.m.] Ocklawaha, Florida — A 20-year-old man remains in the hospital after he flipped his vehicle on Wednesday afternoon. Florida Highway Patrol troopers said a black 2000 Dodge Durango was traveling eastbound on County Road 42 approaching 168th Terrace before the accident happened. The driver, later identified […]

Staffing shortages caused 3 ambulances to shut down Saturday

Staffing shortages caused 3 ambulances to shut down Saturday

Marion County — Persistent staffing shortages have been the cause for Marion County Fire Rescue to shut down ambulances over the last few months. This event, called a “brown out,” has been putting a strain on the ambulance system. The “brown out” has forced MCFR to empty out response zones that are both paid for […]

To the Editor: This is a life and death decision for us

To the Editor: This is a life and death decision for us

I recently read an article about many positive efforts to improve the economy of Marion County. I also read, and am experiencing, the results of one area of negative impact on the economy of Marion County. And that is the continuing exodus of our fire and EMS personnel caused by the embarrassing low salaries — […]

Fire crews had no choice; delayed response time to Monday’s tornado

Fire crews had no choice; delayed response time to Monday’s tornado

Ocala, Florida — Marion County Fire Rescue specialty units had a delayed response to the EF-1 tornado that touched down Monday in the Palm Cay and Oak Run subdivisions, located off SR 200. Approximately 50 homes were damaged and at least a dozen more suffered major damage. According to the National Weather Service, an EF-1 […]

Firefighters saved 5 dogs from fire

Firefighters saved 5 dogs from fire

Ocklawaha, Florida — Friday, Firefighter Paramedics responded to a structure fire, located at 12361 Southeast 135th Court, Ocklawaha, and were able to save the family’s pets. Five dogs were pulled from the flames: Bingo, Shadow, Bear, Bo, and Buddy. All of the pets are recovering and doing well. According to reports, firefighters were on scene […]

1 person arrested, 1 remains hospitalized after CR 484 crash

1 person arrested, 1 remains hospitalized after CR 484 crash

Ocala, Florida — On Friday, Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies and Marion County Fire Rescue responded to a two-vehicle crash on County Road 484 east of Marion Oaks Boulevard, just feet from the Marion Oaks entrance. A 2005 Chevrolet DURAMAX DIESEL 3500 pickup truck, driven by Pedro Gutierrez, 53, of Mexico, was traveling westbound in the […]

County commissioners looking at privatizing part of Fire Rescue

County commissioners looking at privatizing part of Fire Rescue

Ocala, Florida — In an e-mail to county commissioners and Marion County Fire Rescue employees, fire chief and assistant county administrator Stuart McElhaney announced to the agency that the county commissioners have directed staff to hold the line on taxes and look for ways to re-prioritize spending to direct more revenue to the ambulance service. […]

MCSO receives salary adjustment for entry-level deputies

MCSO receives salary adjustment for entry-level deputies

Ocala, Florida — For the first time in 11 years, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) increased the agency’s starting salary for entry-level deputies – from $28,520 to $32,094. The increase went into effect on January 25, 2015. Existing deputies received a 3 percent raise on October 1, 2014. The funding for the salary adjustment […]

Busy weekend for Marion County Fire Rescue

Busy weekend for Marion County Fire Rescue

Marion County, Florida – In less than 24 hours, Marion County Fire Rescue crews responded to three unrelated home fires. The first occurred Friday afternoon in Ocklawaha. At 5:30 p.m., dispatchers at the Marion County Public Safety Communications Center received a call from the homeowner at 10451 SE 132nd Place reporting a grease fire. Firefighters […]

MCFR: Driver failed to yield; struck rescue vehicle

MCFR: Driver failed to yield; struck rescue vehicle

Ocala, Florida — Emergency vehicles, including police, fire, and ambulances, respond to calls throughout the county every day. While some calls are ordinary, others include life-threatening situations. Despite the many safety campaigns advertised by emergency personnel, citizens cannot seem to grasp the concept of yielding to emergency vehicles. On Friday, January 23, at approximately 8:30 […]

911: It is supposed to save lives, not cost you your life

911: It is supposed to save lives, not cost you your life

Ocala, Florida — Since the transfer of 911 dispatch services from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office to the county commissioners control that took place in 2012, many local residents have voiced their opinions that MCSO losing control of the service was a detriment to the community. Recently, Misty Lloyd, a tax paying citizen of Marion […]