By ANITA TODD | Contributing Writer
DAVENPORT — Work on the new Davenport Fire Station No. 2 is well underway.
Mid-South Contractors, based in Orlando, began construction about a month ago and has a tentative completion date of Feb. 13.
Once finished, the $700,000-project will become the second much-needed fire station in the rapidly growing town.
“We are in front of the ball. Our city government is forward-thinking,” said J.T. Torrence, Davenport Fire Chief. “That’s a little unusual for government — but our’s saw the need coming and didn’t wait.”
Davenport is one of the fastest growing cities in Polk County and the state.
In 2015, the population of the northern Polk County municipality was 2,888. Today, there are more than 9,400 people who call it home — and there’s seemingly no end in sight since, with 20 new housing developments underway within the city limits.
With the increase in population, comes an increase in emergency calls and an additional station was needed to handle those.
With an anticipated move-in date of March 1, Fire Station No. 2 will be 3,000-square feet, with 1,800-square feet of that to be used as living area and the 1,200 for the drive-thru bay.
Initially, the living area will include one office, two bedrooms and a dorm – enough to house six firefighters. It will also include a full kitchen and day room. The station will have finished concrete floors and a backup generator, as well.
“We built a functional station,” Torrence said. “This station has no frills, but it will definitely meet our goal of providing the best service to our residents at the least cost.”
In January, the city will begin the process of hiring six new firefighters.
Fire Station No. 2 is located at 1461 W. North Boulevard. The new home of the additional fire station is approximately 2.1 miles from AdventHealth Heart of Florida and minutes from dozens of new housing developments inside the city limits.
“Fire Station No. 2 will focus on calls west of the railroad track in Davenport,” Torrence said. “And, because of the location, we can facilitate better coverage with our auto aid partners in that area.”
Fire Station No. 1 is located in downtown Davenport and will be the main station, housing the office of Torrance and six full-time firefighters, three part-time firefighters and 12 reserve firefighters.
Mid-South Contractors was also the builder for Davenport’s new City Commission Chambers, finished last year.
The Davenport Fire Department was formed in 1926 and operated as an all-volunteer department until 2004.