The Horizon West resident now qualifies for a premium-reducing, fire-protection discount on her homeowners insurance policy because firefighting crews are much closer.
"We don't want to hear sirens but if you need the sirens you want them closer than 22 minutes away which is where they were before," said Sullens, 68, who moved to
"It's a tremendous growth area," Demings said.
The new firehouse, which went into service
The company operates a 78,000-square-foot emergency-medicine facility on the 74-acre property, about a mile south of the
Similar to a trailer, the new firehouse is a temporary modular building but will be staffed around-the-clock by firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians.
A fire engine and an ambulance will be parked on a concrete pad under an aluminum canopy at the site.
Crayon artwork, a welcoming gift from grade-schoolers at nearby
"While this beautiful structure might be considered a temporary home, our place here in this community is most definitely secure," Demings said.
The county, which plans to build three firehouses to serve Horizon West, wasn't slated to build a permanent fire station in the area until 2025.
Six years was too long to wait for the county's fastest-growing community, said Commissioner
She had sounded the alarm for a fire station shortly after she was elected in 2016. Residents often complained some emergency responses took 10 minutes or longer.
VanderLey's concerns grew last year as builders in Horizon West accounted for two of every three construction permits issued in
"When this issue was first identified for me, people were having a very difficult getting their homeowners insurance because the community was under-served in terms of fire protection," VanderLey said. "This station is a game-changer out here."
The community's population is estimated at about 22,000 now, though it may some day be as large as
The new fire station will serve as home to crews until a permanent station is built on
The temporary station was needed because the future site didn't allow for construction work and active operations at the same time.
Fitzgerald, expected to be sworn in as chief next week, said the temporary station will save lives.
"It will change outcomes in a positive way for this community," he said.
[email protected] or 407-650-6361.
(c)2019 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.