Work is underway on a new fire station to serve the growing communities in Apollo Beach. Hillsborough County formally broke ground on Fire Station 29 in Apollo Beach last month, replacing a much smaller, outdated fire station down the street.
The station will be located at 6720 N. U.S. 41 in Apollo Beach and will help serve the fast-growing communities of Apollo Beach, MiraBay, Waterset and Adamsville.
According to the county’s Chris Wilkerson, the new location provides the crews with quick access to U.S. 41 to help improve response times.
“The new, 10,000-square-foot station will have three drive-through apparatus bays for a fire engine, an ALS rescue truck and a tanker truck capable of delivering 3,000 gallons of water directly to a fire scene,” said Wilkerson. “The station also will be home to a battalion chief’s vehicle and 21 or more firefighters/paramedics working three 24-hour shifts.”
Station 29 also is the home of Hillsborough’s Marine Rescue Crew. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue’s 38-foot Fire Boat 29 (FB 29) responds to nautical emergencies and can spray up to 3,500 gallons of seawater a minute from deck guns, put out fuel fires with foam retardant and is docked nearby at Lands End Marina. Launched in 2018, FB 29 responds to boat fires, medical calls and other nautical emergencies, providing critical protection in a waterfront community with a major port and thousands of recreational boaters.
Working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies, the craft and its crew cover a 42-mile shipping channel and surrounding waters from Port Tampa Bay to west of Egmont Key.
Powered by four 250-horsepower Yamaha outboard engines, FB 29 has a top speed of 49 mph. With twin hulls and a draft of just 28 inches, the craft can navigate shallow waters and pull up to beaches and islands with a bow that drops forward, landing craft-style, to load incapacitated patients in medical need.
The station also includes the latest in architectural safety measures, such as laundry and showers between the apparatus bays and the main part of the station so that firefighters can decontaminate before entering the station’s living quarters. Eliminating carcinogens is critically important in keeping firefighters healthy from cancer-causing smoke common in modern fires.
To learn more, visit www.hillsboroughcounty.org.