An Open Letter From The Board of Directors
Bloomingdale Volunteer Station #27 has been a shining example of everything done well in running a volunteer fire operation. Since Station #27 was chartered in 1973, the loyal volunteers and the members of the Board of Directors have dedicated 40 years of their time, expertise and commitment to the community that they have been proud to serve and protect. They were never involved in a fatal vehicle accident and never lost a firefighter on the job. The members stood watch over our community every day and every night for 40 years. They responded to more than 35,000 emergencies of all sorts. Collectively, they volunteered over one million hours of time to the community. It is estimated that the volunteers directly saved more than 1,000 lives over 40 years.
Bloomingdale Volunteer Station #27 proved for decades that, with good planning, training, fiduciary prudence, and operational organization, that qualified, certified and properly-managed personnel can function at the highest standard within Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and the State of Florida 501(c)(3) Corporation.
In fact, Bloomingdale Station #27 was one of the County’s leading stations for providing qualified firefighters to fill positions within the county system.
One fact the County Commissioners are reluctant to discuss is the ongoing operational cost of transitioning the stations from volunteers to paid county firefighters. It is very expensive; $5.2 million per year, which the county taxpayers will have to fund indefinitely now. The cost of all of the volunteers was less than a million dollars.
The new annual expense will be covered by a county reserve fund in 2013, but starting in 2014, the source of funding is not determined.
Sadly on December 31, Station #27 ceased to be a volunteer firehouse. A neighborhood tradition and point of pride to all was lost.
We sincerely thank all of the good and generous citizens of Bloomingdale, Valrico, South Brandon and Lithia, who unselfishly supported Station #27 over the past 40 years.
We will forever be grateful for your generosity and support. And we have been honored to proclaim 40 years of “Dedication….Commitment….Service” to our community.
The Board of Directors
Bloomingdale Volunteer Station #27