UMATILLA – Lake County Fire Rescue opened its 25th full-time firehouse, Station 20 in Umatilla.
“The residents of Dona Vista and south Umatilla now have a fire station staffed 24/7 which provides fire suppression and advanced life support services,” said Lake County Fire Chief Jim Dickerson. “Citizens will not only benefit from faster calls for service from Station 20 but may also receive reduced fire insurance rates by having this fully operating station within five miles of their home or business.”
Located at 37711 State Road 19, Station 20 is the county’s 18th advanced life support, or ALS firehouse. It officially opened on Sunday, Feb. 12.
The round-the-clock operation of the station has been in the works since 2007 with the purchase of Squad 72, which has now been rebranded Squad 20.
Earlier this year, Lake County Fire Rescue hired 19 probationary firefighters to be assigned to stations throughout the county, allowing Fire Rescue to staff Station 20 full-time, and add a third firefighter to three outlying stations. The county was able to add personnel thanks to a $1.7 million federal grant.
Lake County Fire Rescue now deploys a minimum of 62 staff members per shift, with 213 firefighters total.
The career firefighters of Lake County Fire Rescue protect county residents and visitors in an area covering approximately 1,200 square miles, with nearly 70,000 residences and up to 2,000 commercial properties. For up-to-date news on Lake County Fire Rescue, visit www.lakecountyfl.gov/firerescue,www.facebook.com/LakeCountyFireRescue, or www.twitter.com/lakefirePIO.