By Tamas Mondovics
One of the most anticipated projects nearing completion is Hillsborough County’s brand new fire station No.44 in FishHawk.
Construction of the new 9,300 sq. ft. three-bay fire station located on the south side of Fishhawk Blvd. on a two-acre lot donated by Newland Communities, between Mosaic Dr. and Bell Shoals Rd. began last May, with a promised opening early this year.
According to officials, the new station cost the county approximately $3.4 million.
Mansour Yazdi Real Estate and Facilities Services manage the project funded through the Public Safety Improvement Bond Project Funds.
Construction completion is now set for the end of this month, followed by final move-in and official opening in April.
Hillsborough County Fire Rescue (HCFR) Deputy Chief of Administration Jason Dougherty said that the three-bay station mirrors the recently completed station No. 7 on Bloomingdale Ave.
The building includes modern living quarters and workspace for each of the 24-hour full-time crew of five to six personnel each shift, a fire engine and rescue unit.
In 2005, the County designated a site for a fire station within the FishHawk Sports Complex.
It was later decided that the new location near Boyette and Bell Shoals Rd. will serve the community better, taking the heavy load off nearby stations such as station No. 2 in Lithia, and No.16 in Riverview near SR 301 as well as station No. 7 on Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.
“The new station will allow quicker response times for those that call us in an emergency,” Dougherty said.
Emphasizing the benefits of the new location, HCFR Chief Dennis Jones said, “When open, the new station will be an ALS or Advanced Life Support station, with a fire engine ladder truck and Rescue Ambulance Unit.”
Motorists have already noticed that the new station will have direct access to FishHawk Blvd. for fire rescue vehicles, which is something the property within the initially proposed sports complex site did not have. Looking to the future, HCFR also continues to work on a master plan covering the next 25 years.
Based on current growth, officials estimate the need for an additional 70 new stations to safely serve residents living in Hillsborough County.
For more information, please visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.