Sixty-six new fire rescue personnel have been dispatched to local fire stations in preparation for the opening of new stations in Brandon and Riverview next year.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue (HCFR) dispatched 66 new fire rescue personnel into the Brandon and SouthShore areas last month, along with seven additional apparatus and a new fire inspector.

What’s different about this deployment is that the fire stations that will house the personnel and apparatus are still under construction, so the crews will serve from nearby stations until construction is complete.

The physical buildings for Stations 45 and 46 are scheduled to be complete in the fourth quarter of 2021, and the crews will have temporary facilities on the sites in the next several months.

“The additional personnel in the Brandon and Riverview areas will help lower response times in these fast-growing communities,” said Hillsborough County’s Chris Wilkerson. “The county’s master plan calls for 24 more fire stations, and the two that went into operation today are the first two of the group.”

The crews work 24-hour shifts and are on rotation every third day.

The new Station 45 is under construction in Brandon at 1209 Oakfield Dr. That station has 24 personnel, including a battalion chief, an engine company and an ambulance rescue crew. It also has three new apparatus, including a battalion chief vehicle, an engine and a rescue vehicle. This new station will be operating out of a temporary building around the corner at 307 Pauls Dr. later this year.

The new Station 46 is under construction in Riverview at 10751 Rhodine Rd. That station has 42 personnel, including a truck company, an engine company, a rescue crew and a tanker crew. It also has four new apparatus, including a ladder truck, an engine, a rescue truck and a tanker. The personnel will serve from nearby fire stations until a temporary building can be set up on-site early next year.

“Because the area is still growing, fire rescue also is adding an additional inspector to the staff,” said Wilkerson.

This unique approach to adding service for residents is happening because the Hillsborough County Administration saw the need for coverage in fast-growing areas of the county, and the Board of County Commissioners approved the forward-thinking plan to get fire rescue staff in the areas of need as soon as possible.

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Kate Quesada
Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.