Lake County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Eric Palmer was honored during the 2nd Annual “Respect for Emergency Services” event hosted in October by the Optimist Club of Leesburg. Palmer was recognized for his outstanding service to the community for successfully bringing all of Lake County’s first-run fire engines up to National Fire Protection and Insurance Services Office standards.
The process of updating the county’s fire engines required the acquisition of needed firefighting equipment. The process was to be spread out over three years to ease the financial burden that would incur in purchasing it all at once.
In an effort to speed up the process, Lake County submitted a grant application to the Department of Homeland Security, and was notified in May 2013 that the $237,000 grant was awarded.
These added funds made it possible for the County to purchase more than 650 pieces of firefighting equipment. Palmer led the project to install the equipment on the department’s 30 fire engines by the end of September.
“Under Battalion Chief Palmer’s leadership, together with the grant award, a three-year project was accomplished in a year, bringing the department’s fire engines into full compliance with industry standards,” said Lake County Fire Chief John Jolliff. “As a return on investment, this significant achievement provided essential equipment to enhance service to Lake County citizens.”
Battalion Chief Palmer began his fire service career with the County in January 1997. Currently under his command are ten fire stations, including one Special Operations Response Team station, in northern Lake County.
Optimist International is an association of more than 2,900 Optimist Clubs around the world dedicated to "Bringing Out the Best in Kids." Adult volunteers join Optimist Clubs to conduct positive service projects in their communities aimed at providing a helping hand to youth. With their upbeat attitude, Optimist Club members help empower young people to be the best that they