Released By Osceola County Public Information Office
Larry B. Collier, Jr., was approved as Osceola County’s new Fire Chief at the Monday, June 3, 2019 meeting of the Osceola County Board of County Commissioners.
Collier joined the Osceola County Fire Rescue Department in 1995 as a Firefighter Paramedic. He has steadily risen through the ranks, and has served as Deputy Chief of the Department since 2008. As Chief, he will oversee Fire Rescue and Emergency Medical Services. In accordance with the county charter, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved the appointment, effective on June 22, 2019. Robert “Bob” Sorenson has served as Osceola’s Fire Rescue Chief since 2012, and will retire later this month.
“I believe that Osceola County has the best people in the Central Florida area who put on ‘bunker gear’ to serve a community. I am so proud to lead them, and I humbly accept this appointment and the trust bestowed on me. I pledge to work tirelessly to continue to move our department forward,” said Collier. “We are at a pivotal time of change and growth in Osceola County. Together with the men and women of Osceola County’s Fire Rescue and Emergency Medical Services department, I look forward to serving the families, businesses and visitors of Osceola County in the best manner possible.”
As Chief, Collier will lead a department with more than 360 uniformed personnel and administrative employees, and 15 stations. As Deputy Chief, Collier was responsible for Fire Operations, supervising 6 Division Chiefs in the functional areas of Operations, Training, EMS/Logistics, and Health and Safety. He will be responsible for a budget of more than $55 million.
Collier holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Troy University, and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Central Florida, as well as an Associate of Science Degree – Fire Science Technology, and an Associate of Science Degree in Emergency Medical Services from Valencia College. Chief Collier also holds credentials from the Florida State Fire Marshal’s Office as a Firefighter II, Fire Officer I, Fire Officer II, Fire Officer III, Fire Officer IV, Instructor III, Live Fire Instructor I, Incident Safety Officer, Health and Safety Officer, and a Hazardous Materials Technician. He also holds certifications as a Paramedic and EMT.
“Chief Collier has tremendous experience and outstanding credentials. Particularly as Osceola County continues to grow and welcome new residents, Chief Collier’s knowledge – as well as his passion for serving Osceola County – will allow him to guide this department,” said Commission Chairwoman Cheryl Grieb. “We’re delighted to appoint an individual with such deep commitment and knowledge of Osceola County to this key leadership position.”
Osceola County is committed to providing superior public safety services. To help keep people, property and businesses safe, and to be sure that first responders are prepared for any emergency, the County has invested in training and equipment. In addition to new bunker gear, vital-sign telemetry monitors, self-contained breathing apparatus and Jaws of Life, Osceola County has made nearly $30 million in investments in public safety, including the training center, new stations and future sites, equipment, such as engines, rescues and other trucks.