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Ground broken for new Matlacha fire station

By Staff | Oct 24, 2018

Approximately 100 people gathered under sunny skies Friday for the official groundbreaking ceremony for Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District station #4.

“I really appreciate everyone being here today,” Chief Ben Mickuleit said. “Station #4 has been a dream within this department for many years and we’ve had to overcome many hurdles to get here today.”

“This station was designed to match the character and architecture of the fishermen shacks in Matlacha,” chief architect Art Castellanos said. “I think when it’s finished the people of Matlacha and Pine Island will be proud of this building.”

“We pride ourselves on taking care of each other,” Fire Commissioner Dr. Michael Dreikorn said. “”This station was a promise that was made over a decade ago and then the economy went downward. Then last year the citizens came through and we were able to plan for this new firehouse. We were also able to get some awesome equipment including these new trucks.”

The Matlacha station property was purchased in 2008 and the station was scheduled to be built the following year. When the economy crashed, the project was put on hold.

The new fire station #4 will face east/west on Pine Island Road with access for the apparatus (fire engines) to the bays from Scallop Drive and Pompano Avenue. No access is planned directly from Pine Island Road.

The new station will house one engine and one brush truck as well as two firefighter EMTs 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

The site plan calls for the widening of Pompano Avenue and Scallop Drive to county standards and both streets will be paved. The plans also include an additional room for another apparatus that may be added in the future.

Plans include four enclosed sleeping quarters, a community room, three bathrooms, two fire apparatus bays, a kitchen, storage room, exercise rooms and a contamination room. The building will be approximately 6,142 square feet with the option for future expansions.

“Another feature of the new fire house will be a community room,” Mickuleit said. “The community room can be used for classes and other community needs.”

“Today we move one step closer to providing the fire and emergency services to everyone in the district,” Deputy Fire Chief Shawn Brant. “This is a wonderful and historic day to have brought Chief Bradley back.”

Mickuleit recognized former Chiefs Dave Bradley and Joe Marzella for their efforts in making the new Matlacha station a reality. State Rep. Ray Rodrigues was also present.

“I’m excited about this new fire house,” Mickuleit said. “The reason we purchased the property in 2008 was to provide equal response time anywhere in our fire district, which extends to Cape Royal. This fire house will be minutes from both Matlacha and Cape Royal and will allow for better response times.”