Seminole County

Seminole County Fire Department sees uniform shortage

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. — While the pandemic has subsided, supply chain issues are still struggling to catch up.


This is still affecting our first responders, whose uniforms come from overseas.

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The Seminole County Fire Department said they have had to relax some of their uniform standards as they wait for those shipments to arrive.

“How we’ve been mitigating that [it’s] as if we’re doing classroom work before we get the uniforms in, if they’re in the classroom, they’re wearing their business, casual civilian clothing,” Deputy Fire Chief John Thiebert said.

Thiebert said firefighters are in shorts and a plain white T-shirt when they are doing physical training.

Seminole County has tried to hire new firefighters for several years with 50 to 60 firefighters/paramedics a year. And with 30 new recruits, having uniforms ready for them has been a challenge.

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“We’ve been experiencing delays in getting our uniforms in, really since COVID,” said Thiebert. “Now that we’re transitioning back to some normalcy, we’re seeing a lot of delays and shipping.”

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Luckily, he said the uniforms have been coming in around the fourth week of training. But it’s not just the clothes - badges are slow to come in as well.

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Jeff Levkulich

Jeff Levkulich,

Jeff Levkulich joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in June 2015.