By Sean Bowes

The construction of New Tampa’s newest home for local fire fighters is currently under way and if all goes according to plan, Tampa Fire Rescue (TFR) Station No. 22 will roll out its top-of-the-line Advanced Life Support (ALS) truck sometime in mid-February 2012.

This means that Pasco County Fire Rescue (PFR) Station 26, located in Meadow Pointe will have extra support, if needed, says PFR assistant chief Chief Cynthia Holland. This is good news for residents in Meadow Pointe, as well as Seven Oaks, Northwood, Williamsburg, the Lakes at Northwood and even Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills residents who live near Morris Bridge Rd.

“Since the New Tampa station isn’t in our county, they won’t receive calls that come through in Pasco County,” explained Holland. “But, if we ever needed assistance, or can’t get to a location that they’re closer to, we could call them in.”

Drivers may have noticed the walls of the new station going up at 10817 Cross Creek Blvd., a previously undeveloped eight-acre plot of land located just east of the BP gas station on Cross Creek Blvd., less than a mile west of Morris Bridge Rd., which began construction on March 20 of this year. Pillar Construction Group was contracted to build the firehouse on Cross Creek Blvd. for about $2 million, which includes labor, materials and equipment. The project was originally scheduled to take 240 days to complete, however, it looks as if the completion is behind schedule by about a month at our press time.

According to Nick Locicero, Tampa Fire Rescue (TFR) assistant chief of administration and rescue, the new firehouse was built to improve response times for Tampa station No. 21, located almost 3 miles west on Cross Creek Blvd, and Station No. 20, on Bruce B. Downs Blvd. in Tampa Palms, which is 7.3 miles away.

The City of Tampa also owns 2.2 acres of property on Bruce B. Downs Blvd. near County Line Rd., which will eventually be home to TFR Station 23, New Tampa’s next fire station, to serve communities and businesses in New Tampa which border Wesley Chapel, such as Grand Hampton, The Hammocks and Live Oak Preserve. That station, if it does get built, will also provide additional assistance, if needed, for calls in “southern” Wesley Chapel. However, there is not yet any money budgeted for the construction of that firehouse.

There will likely be a ribbon cutting, which the community is invited to attend, at TFR Station No. 22 on Cross Creek Blvd. in mid-February, when the construction is expected to be completed, says Locicero.

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