By Lauren Williams
4:54 PM PST, December 26, 2012
The Newport Beach Fire Department recently hired 10 firefighters to fill gaps in staffing, officials said Wednesday.
The firefighters are predominantly from Southern California, including San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego and Orange counties, although one is coming from South Lake Tahoe, where she spent five years as a paramedic, according to acting Assistant Fire Chief Chip Duncan.
"We got them on board just in time for the holidays," Duncan said.
The new hires began work Dec. 22, Duncan said, with some, according to City Manager Dave Kiff, working shifts on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The newest members of the department fill positions left open by promotions and retirements, a letter from Kiff's office said.
The firefighters will be assigned citywide at eight fire stations and will be probationary employees through Dec. 3, 2013, a year from the date they began their three-week academy training, Duncan said.
After that time, they will be eligible to work as paramedics in Newport Beach, Duncan said.
The additions bring the total full-time fire suppression employees to 117, according to Duncan.
Prior to joining Newport's department, some of the firefighters worked in auxiliary, reserve positions at other departments or worked on ambulances, Duncan said.
The department is now fully staffed, he said.