LAKE JEM — Local residents, dignitaries and fire rescue officials viewed Lake County’s newest fire station on Monday, located at 16345 County Road 448 in the Lake Jem community.
The 2-bay, 7,700-square-foot facility is the first new fire station for the Lake County Department of Public Safety, Fire Rescue Division, since 2002. Officials estimate the station will serve about 23,000 residences in the area. In addition, the station will serve as a back up to six other local stations and is a first-response unit with Orange County as it is located near the county line.
“The County has grown and the need for public safety has grown, and I think our Board [of County Commissioners’] commitment to public safety has grown,” said Lake County Commission Chairman Welton Cadwell during the station’s open house presentation.
The facility was designed to support several emergency functions. While it operates primarily as a fire station for the Lake County Fire Rescue Division, the building was designed for co-location of Lake-Sumter EMS and Lake County Sheriff’s Office. The station operates 24 hours a day and houses several full-time firefighters and paramedics who were previously serving the community at a temporary fire station nearby.
The design by Starmer Ranaldi Architects of Orlando for the new station will be used as the prototype for future Lake County Fire Rescue fire stations. Aagaard-McNary Construction Inc. of Orlando constructed the low-maintenance facility, which is expected to have a lifecycle of 50 years.