unnamedBy Tamas Mondovics

Riverview area residents got a chance to get a better idea about a proposed new fire station planned to be built on a two-acre site near Mosaic Company in FishHawk Ranch.

HCFR, along with County representatives, hosted a public meeting in late-June to discuss the site of the new fire station, No. 44, with area residents held in the cafeteria of Barrington Middle School, 5925 Village Center Dr., in Lithia, near the proposed site in the FishHawk Ranch community.

Plans call for a three-bay station mirroring the newly completed station No. 7 on Bloomingdale Ave., to serve residents living in FishHawk and surrounding Riverview area communities located near, Boyette and Bell Shoals Roads.

“The new station would house a crew of five to six personnel each shift, a fire engine, and rescue unit,” said Deputy Fire Chief Ron Rogers just moments following the groundbreaking ceremony of the County’s new Emergency Operations Center in Brandon.

Rogers added that Fire Rescue is also proposed to set up a temporary station at the FishHawk Sports Complex in 2016, while design of the permanent station gets underway.

In 2005, a site was originally designated for a fire station within the FishHawk Sports Complex, but Rogers said the new location is more centrally located and will serve the community better.

If approved and completed, station No. 44, would take the load off stations No. 2 in Lithia, No.16 in Riverview near SR 301 as well as station No. 7 on Bloomingdale Ave., in Valrico.

Rogers emphasized the benefits of the new location, which he said will maximize response time for residents living in the area.

County Commissioners recently approved the $3.4 million in funding for design and construction of FishHawk Fire Station No. 44. It also gave the green light to some additional minor changes, including an additional access point to be used by the station with no regional impact.

With a 6-0 vote during its land use meeting in May, the BOCC quickly moved the project along.

“We are pleased with the BOCC’s approval of this project,” Rogers said adding, “It will have a direct access to FishHawk Boulevard for Fire Rescue vehicles, which is something the property within the Sports Complex did not have.”

Construction would take approximately eight months with a competition in 2017,” Rogers said.

It is noteworthy that with a brand new fire station now open on Bloomingdale Ave., not to mention a number of renovations and upgrades on many of its existing stations as well as the recent groundbreaking for a new Public Emergency Operations Center in Brandon, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue can hardly complain about lack of support by the County and its residents.

HCFR’s Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Foundation, Inc. a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization has also enjoyed great success including the receiving of the GuideStar Exchange Gold participation level, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability provided by GuideStar USA, Inc., the premier source of nonprofit information.

“This level demonstrates Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Foundation’s deep commitment to nonprofit transparency and accountability,” said HCFR Foundation president and HCFR Public Information Officer Ronnie Rivera. “We have worked hard to showcase our progress toward our mission, and our long-held belief in being transparent about our work, to our constituents.”

Residents may call Steve Valdez, Customer Engagement Division Director, at (813) 272-5275.

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