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Belgium native with no legal first name becomes Orange County firefighter

ORLANDO, Fla. — This past December at the age of 47, Tepatondele Teta Delozege became a firefighter with Orange County Fire Rescue.

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“It’s been great, I work with a great crew they challenge me,” said Tepatondele Teta Delozege.

In 2023, Lynx Tepatondele Teta Delozege became part of the department’s certified class 104 after being certified in fire school after his third attempt.

The training in Orlando was just one of the hurdles he completed growing up in another country.

“I’m built for this; God gave me these skills. I can do this,” said Tepatondele Teta Delozege.

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When his parents named him, they gave him the first name Lynx, named after his father’s Boy Scout nickname.

In Belgium, the government didn’t allow a first name to be the name of an animal, and he opted out to change it, so for years, his ID card looked different, barring no first name.

First name:

Last name: Tepatondele Teta Delozege

At 18, Tepatondele Teta Delozege played professional basketball in Belgium for the Spirou Basket Charleroi.

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He attended and graduated college from Pembroke, North Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education.

After college, he returned to Belgium, where he continued to play semi-professional basketball and work as a physical trainer.

Tepatondele Teta Delozege then owned a gym, but it eventually went out of business.

In 2010, Tepatondele Teta Delozege signed up for a green card lottery to become a U.S. resident.

After seven years, he received the card and moved to the U.S., which he then noticed had a first name added by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The agency gave him the name Fnu, which stood for First Name Unknown.

While he found his career, he plans to become a U.S. citizen as Lynx Jean Marie Teta Delozege Tepatondele.

He wants to add Jean Marie as a middle name in honor of his father.

Once he graduates from paramedic school, he will pursue his citizenship.

He believes it will happen in the next two years.

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Tepatondele Teta Delozege is now working at Fire Station 52 in Orange County.

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