Hillsborough County Fire Station Number 44 opened on FishHawk Blvd. last month. VPK students from Kids ‘R’ Kids were invited to participate in the opening of the new fire station.

FishHawk area residents are safer this month after the much anticipated official opening of Hillsborough County Fire Station Number 44 on FishHawk Blvd. between Moasic Dr. and Bell Shoals Rd. on Thursday, April 5.

Fire rescue personnel, community representatives and residents attended a ceremony which included a ribbon cutting, officially declaring the station open to help the public.

“FishHawk residents can rest easy now that station 44 is active,” said County Commissioner Stacy White, speaking at the opening ceremony. “I am proud to have this new station in my district.”

The station, which was completed with a $2.9 million budget, is 10,000 sq. ft., including a refueling facility, safe room, modern living quarters, a climate controlled bunker gear room and three bays housing a new fire engine.

Construction costs were funded through impact fees, general revenue funds and Public Safety Improvement Bond Project Funds. The two-acre lot was donated to Hillsborough County by Newland Communities.

The station is staffed 24-hour with a crew of nine working in shifts of three and took a call for a kitchen fire in the FishHawk area within hours of opening.

Speaking at the ribbon cutting ceremony, Chief Dennis Jones informed attendees that the station is the first new fire station in the county since 2006 and noted that the area has incurred astronomical growth in that time.

“Since 2006, we have experienced a 36 percent increase in call volume,” said Jones. “This new station will drastically reduce the time it takes for emergency crews to respond to residents in FishHawk and the surrounding areas.”

The station will help ease the heavy load of the nearby Number 2 Lithia station, Number 7 Station on Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico and Number 16 Station in Riverview.

The building, which was designed by Wilder Architecture and constructed by CRS Building, was planned taking anticipated growth into consideration.

“We have room to house two more fire trucks and space to house additional crew,” said Jones. “We are looking forward to growing with the FishHawk area.”

The station is located at 13601 FishHawk Blvd. For more information, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.