Orange County Government celebrated the opening of Fire Rescue Station 67 on June 4, 2018.
Mayor Teresa Jacobs was joined by District 3 Commissioner Pete Clarke, District 5 Commissioner Emily Bonilla, Orange County Fire Rescue (OCFRD) and Chief Otto Drozd III for a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the new station in east Orange County, in close proximity to the University of Central Florida.
Station 67 is considered the flagship project among Mayor Jacobs’ INVEST in Our Home for Life initiative and is the first of three fire stations to be funded through INVEST funds.
“Keeping our residents and guests safe has always been and continues to be a top priority in Orange County,” Mayor Jacobs said. “This new fire station will enhance public safety, helping to ensure that first responders can get to emergency situations as quickly as possible. As part of the INVEST in Our Home for Life initiative, Fire Station 67 was built to serve the quickly growing east side of Orange County, home to a multitude of families, businesses and the University of Central Florida.”
The need for a new fire station at its location was based on a comprehensive station location study that identified trends in the area reflecting the current and projected demand on OCFRD services. The study focused on new home construction, emergency call volume and medical transports and forecasted population growth. The project was presented to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners in 2015 to reduce response times in the area. A budget of $6.4 million was allocated to the project including the purchase of land, construction costs, emergency vehicles and equipment.
“This is a historic day for Orange County Fire Rescue,” said Orange County Fire Chief Otto Drozd III. “Fire stations are much more than a building; they are a home for our first responders within the community they serve. By being closer to our residents, we can be there even faster, when they need us the most. We are in the business of saving lives. We have among the finest crews in the nation and this new station, along with the equipment, will help these men and women perform their job to the best of their ability.”
Traditionally in the fire service industry, a station is not officially opened until it is placed in service by its Emergency Communications and Dispatch Center. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the OCFRD dispatch center played a series of dispatch tones and a message to all personnel: “On this day, Monday, June 4, 2018, Orange County Fire Rescue’s Fire Station 67 is officially now in service. May the crews at Station 67 be safe in their travels, brave in their service, and compassionate in their care. May you always uphold Orange County Fire Rescue’s core values of duty, respect and integrity. May God bless you all and keep you safe.”
Mayor Jacobs’ $300 million INVEST in Our Home for Life initiative, was announced in 2015 to fund a series of projects that will provide long-term benefits to Orange County residents. Orange County Fire Rescue will receive $30 million over the next five years to fund three new fire stations, new fire apparatus and equipment and partial funding for a regional fire training facility. The funding will ensure that OCFR has the ability to continue its industry-leading performance and deliver exceptional levels of service to the resident and guests of Orange County. For more information about INVEST in Our Home for Life initiative, visit http://www.ocfl.net/invest.
Photo Caption: Orange County celebrates the opening of Orange County Fire Station 67 in east Orange County near UCF at ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 4, 2018.