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COMMUNITY NEWS / Covering Orange County's 33 Cities

Newport Beach

October 05, 2000|Deepa Bharath, (949) 574-4226

The city's Fire and Marine Department is on a hiring spree to replace officers expected to retire during the next few years.

"We're one of the oldest departments in the county," said Randy Scheerer, training division chief. "People who joined us 25 to 30 years ago have reached retirement age now."

As a result, the department has hired eight new lifeguards and firefighters over the last three years after recruiting none in the five years before 1997.

The department realized the need to recruit actively about four years ago, Lt. John Blauer said. The most recent addition was a lifeguard specialist.

"We expect to hire at least 60 people in the next six years," Scheerer said.

Another reason for the rapid hiring rate is the city's planned annexation of Newport Coast. Scheerer said the inclusion of that area will require nine more employees.

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