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FIRE STATION REOPENS IN BROWARD COMMUNITY

PHOTO OP

8 a.m. Saturday, January 28

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue Station #23

2200 SW 46 Ave., Ft. Lauderdale

A new chapter in Broward’s fire service history will be written Saturday as Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue reopens Fire Station #23 Broadview Park.

An extensive mold remediation and renovation project closed the firehouse and forced the firefighters at Station #23 to relocate to a nearby Davie fire station until the station could be deemed safe and habitable. Following a traditional hose uncoupling, raising of the flag and brief ceremony, Engine Company 23 will return home. “Having Engine 23 back in their home will provide a more rapid response and enhanced level of service to the residents of Broadview Park,” Sheriff Al Lamberti said. Engine 23 is an advanced life support unit, meaning that firefighter/paramedics can deliver the highest quality pre-hospital care in addition to answering fire and rescue calls.

Founded in the 1960’s, the Peters Road Volunteer Fire Department served a new community in central unincorporated Broward named Broadview Park. It also served an adjacent town called Hacienda Village, an enclave of homes that sat at what is now the behemoth intersection of Interstate 595 and State Road 7. Fred North, a 32-year firefighter and currently a lieutenant with BSFR recalls in 1956, his parents were among the first group of homeowners in Broadview Park. Fred joined the volunteer department in 1979 and on October 1, 1980, it merged with the then-Broward County Fire Department.

Jimmy Chandler remembers when his family moved into Broadview Park in the early 60’s. He was four and recalls every year at Christmas time the firemen would drive Santa through the neighborhood giving canned food and toys to the children. For the past 32 years, Chandler has continued that tradition by driving St. Nick through the neighborhood, as a former Peters Road volunteer and current driver/engineer with Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue. In fact, about six of the former Peters Road volunteers are still on the job in several area departments.

Back in the day, the air-raid siren blared through the neighborhood to alert the two dozen firemen who left their homes and jobs to race to the firehouse. The firefighters responded to calls riding tailboard, on the back step of the department’s 1966 and 1972 Ford 750 pumper trucks. At the time, the fire station served as the social hub of the community. A lot has changed since then, but traditions still run deep in the fire service and when a station is opened, it once again becomes the social hub of the community.

This report by:

Mike Jachles/PIO

01/27/12 1400

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