Fire vehicles leaving park storage area

The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department will begin moving up to 30 aged vehicles from a storage area in Indian Hammocks Park in response to citizen complaints detailed by Miami-Dade District 10 Commissioner Javier A. Souto. “All of the old trucks will be moved to one of the department’s Fleet Service parking lots,” said department spokesperson Elizabeth Calzadilla on May 20.

In a May 19 memo to Fire Chief Herminio Lorenzo who heads the Fire-Rescue Department, Souto said criticism by residents during a May 13 town meeting characterized the storage area as a “graveyard for department vehicles and boats,” according to Bernardo Escobar, the commissioner’s aide.

Residents urged that “the property should be part of the green space and scenic beauty of the park,” rather than creating an eyesore for a park entrance, he added.

Equal concern was voiced about the potential environmental hazard of aging vehicles that may leak fluids left stored on unpaved grassy park land, he noted.

“The stored vehicles will be auctioned off so that we can raise extra funding for the department during current budget restraints,” Calzadilla explained. “We plan to start moving them before the end of the month.”

The area where the trucks were stored is owned by the Fire-Rescue Department, one of several abutting sections of Indian Hammocks Park. In past years, the department arranged donations of such older equipment to out-of-state or non-U.S. departments but “these vehicles are not in condition for that purpose,” she added. Souto’s request on behalf of residents proposed that the vehicles be transferred to one of the General Services Administration paved parking vehicle depots, or “auctioned off during a tough budget year.”

Souto previously issued complaints about the appearance of broken wood fencing at the countyowned land adjacent at the park, adding that a paved area used by the county’s Solid Waste Department is “well hidden from public view” and might serve as new parking area in the future.

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