From the City of Apopka Public Information Office
The Apopka Fire Department invites the community to a grand opening of the newly completed Fire Station No. 5 at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 23, at 1685 Firehouse Lane in Apopka.
The event will include a ribbon cutting, presentations from public officials, firefighter visits, vehicle displays and tours of the facility located off of Jason Dwelley Parkway across from Apopka’s Northwest Recreation Complex.
Three classes of students from nearby Wolf Lake Elementary School will tour the fire station. Apopka High School student Jessica Carscadden will provide donated stuffed animals to the fire department. Jessica operates a program called We Care Bears, which is designed for First Responders to hand out stuffed animals at scenes to children who are part of traumatizing events.
Station No. 5 is the first additional fire station opened in Apopka in 20 years – meeting the need for an improved emergency response in Orange County’s second-largest city. Construction started in August for the $1.6 million, 7,800-square-foot facility that was designed by The Lunz Group and will be built by Miller Construction Management. The building includes four vehicle bays, operations offices as well as meeting, eating and sleeping areas.
Staff will include 21 firefighters – seven for each of three shifts. Emergency vehicles will include a fire engine, ambulance and a rapid response squad truck that will carry equipment for vehicle accidents and other emergencies.
Station No. 5 will significantly improve emergency response times to the largely residential areas of northwest Apopka and also handle vehicle accidents along Wekiva Parkway and State Road 429. The opening of Fire Station 5 and its proximity to the city’s newly constructed Brush Drive cuts an estimated six minutes off of emergency responses to Rock Springs Ridge, Oak Ridge, Wekiva Run and other nearby neighborhoods.
Firefighters for Station No. 5 have worked for weeks from a temporary location at the Northwest Recreation Complex that opened on Dec 3. Another temporary fire station – Station No. 6 – opened that same day at Florida Hospital Apopka’s new location off of Harmon and Ocoee Apopka roads
The last new fire station to open in Apopka was Station No. 4 in 1997.
The need for new fire stations is growing with Apopka. Firefighters responded to more than 900 emergencies in January, which far exceeds a typical January of roughly 550 emergencies. Last year the department responded to more than 8,700 emergencies, which was a 21 percent increase from 2016.