Ybor City

Tampa Fire Rescue Embarks on Historic Upgrade Initiative

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Tampa Fire Rescue unveiled a significant milestone in the city's commitment to public safety on Monday: the roll-out of eight new vehicles being added to its fleet. The three fire engines, three rescue vehicles, and two ambulance buses, or "AmbuBuses" are part of a comprehensive plan to upgrade emergency services. At Monday's press conference unveiling the vehicles at the 34th Street Fire Training Grounds, Mayor Jane Castor underscored the broader vision behind the initiative, highlighting the city's dedication to enhancing Tampa Fire Rescue's capabilities. "We are investing in and upgrading Tampa Fire Rescue more than this community has seen in multiple generations," said Mayor Jane Castor. "Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow includes transforming our Fire Department so that it meets the modern needs of our booming city." In addition to the new vehicles, which include engines with a more cost-effective and reliable staircase design, more spacious cabins, and superior air filtration systems to better protect firefighters from toxins, fire facilities throughout the city have also seen recent upgrades.Since 2020:

  • A dozen outdated fire stations have been renovated, including a complete remodel of Fire Station 25 and funding approved for a new Station 24 and fleet facility. 
  • A new multistory firefighter training tower was built at the 34th Street training grounds in 2023.
  • A new computer-aided dispatch system was purchased.
  • A total of 27 new vehicles have been ordered since 2020, most being rescue vehicles due to nine in 10 emergency calls being medical-related, rather than fire.

“In 2022, we opened Rescue Station 25 with two rescues, which decreased call volume for three neighboring stations. Imagine the difference with five rescues,” said Chief Barbara Tripp. “By filling our stations with additional resources, we can decrease response times throughout the city.” Under Chief Tripp's leadership, more than 130 new Fire Rescue men and women have joined the department through nine hiring classes. Firefighters were recently granted an unprecedented 18-percent salary increase over three years. The City of Tampa's Capital Improvement Plan has more than $116 million in fire stations and facilities and $127 million in Fire Rescue vehicles. These investments will produce better response times through new technology and vehicles.  "Achieving these milestones was a collaborative endeavor, made possible through the support of our City Council, the backing of our community, and the tireless dedication of Tampa Fire Rescue's personnel," added Mayor Castor. "These new vehicles and all the additions to our fire department symbolize our pledge to not just keep pace with our city's growth, but to anticipate and prepare for the future, ensuring Tampa is always ready to meet any challenge head-on."