By Tamas Mondovics
Hillsborough County invited residents to a long awaited ceremony last month to celebrate the completion and the official opening of a $2.3 million South Brandon, or as many now call it, Bloomingdale Fire Station No. 7.
Instead of a ribbon cutting, the ceremony featured a traditional fire hose uncoupling as the department’s way of unveiling the new station, located at 1292 E. Bloomingdale Ave.
On hand to welcome members of the community was Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White (District 4) and Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Chief Dennis Jones joined by County leaders, fire rescue personnel and community representatives.
“A fire station is always a landmark within the community, it provides that sense of place and in some cases it even can become a safe haven for residents,” White said. “The ceremony formally marks the new facility’s commitment to serving the area.”
Commenting on his appreciation of County officials supporting the project, Jones put things in perspective when he said, “The new station is the community’s station. It is great to see so many residents come out to take part in the dedication of this brand new facility and to see their support,” Jones said.
The opening ceremony festivities included a presentation by a small group of students from Primrose School of Bloomingdale, located next door to the new station, which replaces a 40-year-old building located a little more than a mile west on Bloomingdale Avenue.
At 9,300 sq. ft., the new facility is more than twice the size of the old station and includes modern living quarters and workspace designed to meet current fire station standards. The station’s three bays house a combination fire engine ladder truck known as a “quint,” as well as a brush truck. Each 24-hour shift is staffed by a crew of three.
Construction costs were funded through impact fees, unincorporated area construction funds, and Public Safety Improvement Bond Project funds. Construction took about a year to complete.
The new facility is one of several projects Hillsborough County has underway to replace, upgrade, or add fire stations throughout the unincorporated area, including Riverview, Sundance, Carrollwood, Seffner and the East Lake area.
Work is also underway in the Brandon area on the Public Safety Operations Complex that includes Hillsborough County Fire Rescue headquarters and a new Emergency Operations Center. For more information, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.