Newest county fire station, near Benderson Park, celebrates opening

The facility, which shares space with the Sheriff’s Office, is expected to win LEED certification

Fire Station No. 17. Photo courtesy Sarasota County
Fire Station No. 17. Photo courtesy Sarasota County

Sarasota County celebrated the opening of Fire Station 17 near Nathan Benderson Park on Jan. 7, complete with the traditional “uncoupling of the hose” ceremony, the county has announced. The single-story structure, which is more than 12,000 square feet, features three truck bays, full-time staff and an advance life support ambulance, a county news release notes. “The building also houses a Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office operations facility, which will be used for special projects, equipment storage and staging for large public events in the area,” the release adds.

“The sheriff’s operations facility will not be staffed for daily operations and is not open to the public,” the release points out.

“Fire Station 17 represents Sarasota County’s ongoing commitment to maintaining a first-class fire department, and allows our firefighters, EMTs and paramedics to better serve this part of the community,” said Rich Collins, Sarasota County Emergency Services director, in the release.

The station’s response area handles approximately 2,000 calls per year, the release notes. With continued growth of that part of the county on the horizon, calls are expected to increase, the release continues; “this new station has the capacity to support that need.”

The structure has been designed to withstand wind speeds of more than 150 miles per hour, the release notes, and it is a “green” facility “that is poised to achieve a minimum level of certification with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System,” the release adds.

On a related note, Sarasota County Commission Chair Al Maio told members of the Siesta Key Association during their Jan. 7 meeting that 42 firefighters/medics have been sworn in over the past 14 months. Another couple of dozen are scheduled to be sworn in in June, he added.

The county has seen a number of firefighters retire since he took office in November 2014, he noted.

Fire Station 17 is located at 5431 Desoto Road in Sarasota.