NOCATEE, Fla. – Nocatee, the fifth-fastest growing community in the nation and home to more than 2,300 families, will soon be getting a new fire station.
"We're very excited to get it open and provide response in that area," said Chief Carl Shank of St. Johns County Fire Rescue.
Shank said the county noticed there was a need for a station in the neighborhood because of the amount of time it took firefighters to travel there.
"Response times are something we closely monitor, and we want to be able to get units there as quickly as possible," Shank said. "That's the primary objective for that area. The second is to lower their fire insurance ratings."
Even though there is a need, the county wouldn't have been able to fund a station for a few years. That's when the Nocatee Park Group stepped in and decided to fund everything from land, construction and fire trucks.
The county does have to fund the 18 new firefighters, but it plans to apply for a grant so it won't cost anything.
If the grant doesn't come through, the cost will be added to the county budget.
The station will not only serve Nocatee but also surrounding areas, including Ponte Vedra and Palm Valley. The department expects the new station will have about 800-1,000 calls within its first year.
The station is under construction, which should be complete by late March or early April. Then the Fire Department will spend time improving it and bringing a crew in.
"We'll be looking next year as far as staffing the station around April, May or June, sometime in that time frame," Shank said.