Thread: Fire Station on Aligator Alley
03-16-2005, 06:42 PM #1
Fire Station on Aligator Alley
Broward Sheriff Jenne opens fire-rescue station on Alligator Alley
By Thomas Monnay
Posted March 12 2005
The Broward Sheriff's Office's new fire-rescue station on Alligator Alley should dramatically reduce response time to accidents, but safe driving can make a bigger difference, Sheriff Ken Jenne said on Friday as he officially opened Station 106.
"Your law enforcement community agencies are prepared to respond very quickly," Jenne said. "But nothing replaces safety on the road."
Station 106 has been operating since Feb. 13 in a trailer on the east side of a rest area about 10 miles west of the Broward toll plaza in the Everglades. In the next three or four months, work will begin on a $2 million facility west of the rest area, which should be completed in a year and a half.
Response time for most accidents should now be less than 10 minutes, said Fire Chief Chuck Lanza, of the Sheriff's Office Fire-Rescue department.
Station 81 in Weston, located about 18 miles from the new station, used to be responsible for the area, which generated about 500 calls last year.
"It's been a struggle to get these people," said Sheriff's Office assistant fire chief Todd Leduc. "This is going to make a tremendous difference."
The new station, which includes an officer, a driver engineer and a firefighter-paramedic, is equipped with a $258,000 fire-rescue engine designed with tools to remove accident victims from cars, spread foam on accident scenes and draw water from canals. The unit carries 780 gallons of water and 25 gallons of foams.
The station's $65,000 airboat, which can transport two patients, will be used in search and rescue operations.
"The station is an absolute necessity," said Jenne, adding it would reduce response time by 15 minutes. "If you drive on Alligator Alley with your family, you know how long it takes to get there."
Police officials say accident rates have been increasing each year on the 77-mile alley, which is the portion of Interstate 75 between Weston and Naples. In 2003, 19 people died in 137 crashes between Broward and Collier counties, the Sheriff's Office said, blaming SUV rollovers and careless driving for many of them.
More recent statistics were not available. But last month rescuers pulled a car with four bodies inside from a canal just west of the toll plaza.
Capt. John Roberts, district commander of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Davie, said the station would benefit law enforcement agencies and the public.
"Having this station here will no doubt save lives," he said.
In the meantime, Jenne said, "Even though you're safer ... how you save lives is: Drive safely yourself."
Thomas Monnay can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-385-7924.09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.
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