1. #1
    District Chief
    distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Default Polk & Osceola open joint Station in Poinciana

    New Poinciana Fire Station A Symbol of Cooperation
    County line is no longer a barrier to emergency services.

    By Mike Grogan
    The Reporter

    POINCIANA -- For those who live in SoliVita, the opening of a fire station less than a half mile from their front gate was an important event.

    "This is one of the greatest things to happen to us," Pat Wing said. "We've been waiting for it a long time."

    Wing was one of dozens of SoliVita residents who attended the ribbon cutting ceremony on May 20 that officially opened the Poinciana-SoliVita Fire/EMS Station on Cypress Garden Parkway on property donated by Avatar, Poincianas primary developer.

    "This is a 55-and-over community," Phil Fortsch, who also lives in SoliVita, said. "This station is important to us because it's so much closer than the old station."

    The station that had served the area was a couple of miles away on Marigold Avenue, but it ceased operation back in September when Hurricane Charley tore the roof off the building and left the station in shambles.

    Even before that happened, though, plans for the new station were going forward because it had been recognized by Polk and Osceola county officials that a full-service facility was needed to provide emergency and fire services to the west end of Poinciana.

    Building the station took cooperation because Poinciana spreads across the county line with homes on both sides.

    It was in the late 1990s, Polk County Commissioner Paul Senft said, that the population of Poinciana began to grow explosively towards its current count of nearly 50,000 residents. That growth included the construction of SoliVita, an adult neighborhood that has become a self-contained community.

    Polk County put the Marigold Avenue station in service in 2000 as a part-time facility that operated 40 hours a week with two paid firefighters. That same year, the county placed an EMS unit in the area.

    Senft said both counties realized that growth was soon going to force the construction of new facilities. Polk County wanted a single station to combine the fire and EMS stations, while Osceola was considering building a station nearer to the center of Poinciana. The two counties got together, though, and decided it would be more cost efficient to combine their resources into a single facility that they would share.

    Osceola County Fire Chief Frank Montes De Oca said the project has taken more than four years to complete.

    "Finally, everything came together," he said.

    There were funding issues to be solved, De Oca said. When one county could put the new facility in its budget, the other couldn't -- and vice versa.

    "Counties have funding priorities," he noted. "It was an on-again/off-again project for several years."

    In the end, Polk County ended up picking up the lion's share of the $2.6 million price tag for the station with Osceola kicking in $400,000. But, De Oca said, both counties will share equally in maintaining and operating the facility. Each will also provide equipment -- an Osceola County ambulance with a Polk County fire engine and EMS vehicle -- and staffing for the station that will be operating full time.

    "We have hit a home run with this facility," Rick Parnell, Polk County's interim fire chief, said.

    The station is two buildings in one. The huge, open apparatus bay for housing vehicles and equipment is more than 5,000 square feet in size.

    A breezeway connects the bay to the 4,735-square-foot building that houses office space and living quarters.

    De Oca said that breezeway is important because it protects those in the living quarters and offices from the dangerous gasoline and diesel fumes that can accumulate in the vehicle bay.

    There is about 500 square feet of storage space in the interior rooms and an equipment decontamination area. Outside, there is a generator capable of powering the station for up to 48 hours. The living area is protected by sprinklers and a fire alarm system, has two dormitories that can sleep six each, and has a day room that can seat up to 12 emergency personnel.

    New firefighting equipment is expected to be added to the station within the next few months because Polk County will be replacing its 1987 Ford fire engine with a state-of-the-art Ferrara engine.

    The two counties have signed a mutual aid agreement meaning that each will respond to where help is needed without having to consider any ramifications for crossing county lines. De Oca called that a "seamless service system."

    Mike Grogan can be reached at Mike.Grogan@theledger.com or at 863-421-5811.

    New Poinciana Fire Station A Symbol of Cooperation

    County line is no longer a barrier to emergency services.

    MIKE GROGAN/The Reporter

    Ladders from Polk and Osceola county firetrucks form an archway in front of the equipment bay for the recently opened fire and emergency medical services station in Poinciana.

    By MIKE GROGAN

    The Reporter

    POINCIANA -- For those who live in SoliVita, the opening of a fire station less than a half mile from their front gate was an important event.

    "This is one of the greatest things to happen to us," Pat Wing said. "We've been waiting for it a long time."

    Wing was one of dozens of SoliVita residents who attended the ribbon cutting ceremony on May 20 that officially opened the Poinciana-SoliVita Fire/EMS Station on Cypress Garden Parkway on property donated by Avatar, Poincianas primary developer.

    "This is a 55-and-over community," Phil Fortsch, who also lives in SoliVita, said. "This station is important to us because it's so much closer than the old station."

    The station that had served the area was a couple of miles away on Marigold Avenue, but it ceased operation back in September when Hurricane Charley tore the roof off the building and left the station in shambles.

    Even before that happened, though, plans for the new station were going forward because it had been recognized by Polk and Osceola county officials that a full-service facility was needed to provide emergency and fire services to the west end of Poinciana.

    Building the station took cooperation because Poinciana spreads across the county line with homes on both sides.

    It was in the late 1990s, Polk County Commissioner Paul Senft said, that the population of Poinciana began to grow explosively towards its current count of nearly 50,000 residents. That growth included the construction of SoliVita, an adult neighborhood that has become a self-contained community.

    Polk County put the Marigold Avenue station in service in 2000 as a part-time facility that operated 40 hours a week with two paid firefighters. That same year, the county placed an EMS unit in the area.

    Senft said both counties realized that growth was soon going to force the construction of new facilities. Polk County wanted a single station to combine the fire and EMS stations, while Osceola was considering building a station nearer to the center of Poinciana. The two counties got together, though, and decided it would be more cost efficient to combine their resources into a single facility that they would share.

    Osceola County Fire Chief Frank Montes De Oca said the project has taken more than four years to complete.

    "Finally, everything came together," he said.

    There were funding issues to be solved, De Oca said. When one county could put the new facility in its budget, the other couldn't -- and vice versa.

    "Counties have funding priorities," he noted. "It was an on-again/off-again project for several years."

    In the end, Polk County ended up picking up the lion's share of the $2.6 million price tag for the station with Osceola kicking in $400,000. But, De Oca said, both counties will share equally in maintaining and operating the facility. Each will also provide equipment -- an Osceola County ambulance with a Polk County fire engine and EMS vehicle -- and staffing for the station that will be operating full time.

    "We have hit a home run with this facility," Rick Parnell, Polk County's interim fire chief, said.

    The station is two buildings in one. The huge, open apparatus bay for housing vehicles and equipment is more than 5,000 square feet in size.

    A breezeway connects the bay to the 4,735-square-foot building that houses office space and living quarters.

    De Oca said that breezeway is important because it protects those in the living quarters and offices from the dangerous gasoline and diesel fumes that can accumulate in the vehicle bay.

    There is about 500 square feet of storage space in the interior rooms and an equipment decontamination area. Outside, there is a generator capable of powering the station for up to 48 hours. The living area is protected by sprinklers and a fire alarm system, has two dormitories that can sleep six each, and has a day room that can seat up to 12 emergency personnel.

    New firefighting equipment is expected to be added to the station within the next few months because Polk County will be replacing its 1987 Ford fire engine with a state-of-the-art Ferrara engine.

    The two counties have signed a mutual aid agreement meaning that each will respond to where help is needed without having to consider any ramifications for crossing county lines. De Oca called that a "seamless service system."

    Mike Grogan can be reached at Mike.Grogan@theledger.com or at 863-421-5811.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    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.

  2. #2
    District Chief
    distchief60b's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6,413

    Default

    Co-op Fire Station Opens
    Poinciana/Solivita facility is located closer to seniors community than a station closed after a hurricane.

    By Mike Grogan
    The Ledger

    POINCIANA -- For those who live in Solivita, the opening of a fire station less than a half mile from their front gate was an important event.

    "This is one of the greatest things to happen to us," Pat Wing said. "We've been waiting for it a long time."

    Wing was one of dozens of Solivita residents who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 20 that officially opened the Poinciana-Solivita Fire/EMS Station on Cypress Garden Parkway on property donated by Avatar, Poinciana's primary developer.

    "This is a 55-and-over community," Phil Fortsch, who also lives in Solivita, said. "This station is important to us because it's so much closer than the old station."

    The station that had served the area was a couple of miles away on Marigold Avenue, but it closed in September after Hurricane Charley tore the roof off the building and left the station in shambles when it hit Aug. 13, 2004.

    Even before that happened, though, plans for the new station were going forward because it had been recognized by Polk and Osceola county officials that a full-service facility was needed to provide emergency and fire services to the west end of Poinciana.

    Building the station took cooperation because Poinciana spreads across the county line with homes on both sides.

    In the late 1990s Polk County Commissioner Paul Senft noted that the population of Poinciana had begun to grow explosively towards its current count of nearly 50,000 residents.

    That growth included the construction of Solivita, an adult neighborhood that has become a self-contained community.

    Polk County put the Marigold Avenue station in service in 2000 as a part-time facility that operated 40 hours a week with two paid firefighters. That same year, the county placed an EMS unit in the area.

    Senft said both counties realized that growth was soon going to force the construction of new facilities.

    Polk County wanted a single station to combine the fire and EMS stations, while Osceola was considering building a station nearer to the center of Poinciana.

    The two counties got together, though, and decided it would be more cost efficient to combine their resources into a single facility that they would share.

    Osceola County Fire Chief Frank Montes De Oca said the project has taken more than four years to complete.

    "Finally, everything came together," he said.

    There were funding issues to be solved, De Oca said. When one county could put the new facility in its budget, the other couldn't -- and vice versa.

    "Counties have funding priorities," he said. "It was an on-again/off-again project for several years."

    In the end, Polk County ended up picking up the lion's share of the $2.6 million price tag for the station with Osceola kicking in $400,000.

    But, De Oca said, both counties will share equally in maintaining and operating the facility. Each will also provide equipment -an Osceola County ambulance with a Polk County fire engine and EMS vehicle -- and staffing for the station that will be operating full time.

    "We have hit a home run with this facility," Rick Parnell, Polk County's interim fire chief, said.

    The station is two buildings in one. The huge, open apparatus bay for housing vehicles and equipment is more than 5,000 square feet in size.

    A breezeway connects the bay to the 4,735-square-foot building that houses office space and living quarters. De Oca said that breezeway is important because it protects those in the living quarters and offices from the dangerous gasoline and diesel fumes that can accumulate in the vehicle bay.

    There is about 500 square feet of storage space in the interior rooms and an equipment decontamination area.

    Outside, there is a generator capable of powering the station for up to 48 hours.

    The living area is protected by sprinklers and a fire alarm system, has two dormitories that can sleep six each, and has a day room that can seat up to 12 emergency personnel.

    New firefighting equipment is expected to be added to the station within the next few months because Polk County will be replacing its 1987 Ford fire engine with a state-of-the-art Ferrara engine.

    The two counties have signed a mutual aid agreement meaning that each will respond to where help is needed without having to consider any ramifications for crossing county lines. De Oca called that a "seamless service system."

    Mike Grogan can be reached at Mike.Grogan@theledger.com or at 863-421-5811.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    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.

  3. #3
    Forum Member
    lilsisterosceol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Poinciana
    Posts
    476

    Default Is this report missleading?

    While it may be a joint station there is currently no firefighting apparatus belonging to Osceola County at the station. A rescue unit is stationed there, our engine & tanker/brush trucks more than 5 miles away which gives us a fairly standard response time, except for the coming change.

    The new news is our engine will go to another community and Polk County will have to protect over 65,000 folks from their "joint" station.

    I believe it is worrisome to the Osceola County residents. Solivita is in Polk County therefore the residents are ok with the arrangements, however 35,000 of us live on the Osceola County side and we aren't sure if we will have anything close to a standard response time in the future.

    We need prayers for our safety.

  4. #4
    Floater for life!!

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Brandon, fl
    Posts
    74

    Default

    there is an osceola engine there as well as a rescue and brush truck and there has been for some time...since well before aug 8th when you made the post....niether are going anywhere.....the info we have recieved is we are getting 4 new rescues and 2 new trucks....engine 65 will stay and reunion will get a ladder.....at least thats the rumor i have heard
    Last edited by e10pvmt; 09-18-2007 at 09:28 AM.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register