The long-awaited new Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Station in Palmetto Bay officially opened with a formal ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 9. Station 62 is located on Old Cutler Road at SW 142nd Terrace.
Despite overcast skies and occasional sprinkles of rain a large crowd turned out for the event.
Coordinated by MDFR officials and staff, the event featured speeches by village and county officials. The emcee was Scott Mendelsberg, MDFR assistant director, who introduced District 8 County Commissioner Daniela Levine Cava, Palmetto Bay Mayor Karyn
Cunningham, Vice Mayor John DuBois and Councilmembers Patrick Fiore and David Singer.
Former Mayor Eugene Flinn attended and was acknowledged for his early efforts to secure the fire station for the village.
Maurice Kemp, Deputy Mayor of Miami-Dade County and former Fire Chief for the City of Miami, spoke about the work that had gone into the station.
The 11,000-square-foot station is state-of-the-art and is LEED certified. It is environmentally friendly and energy efficient, using solar power to heat water for the station. Besides the advanced life support fire engine, the station will have a crew of four uniformed personnel on duty 24/7.
After the invocation by Lt. Alex Trinchete, Mendelsberg spoke about the history of the station and site. He acknowledged Carlos Hereida for his role in acquiring the land.
Commissioner Daniela Levine Cava thanked everyone who had helped make the new station possible, from those who acquired the land to the mayors of Palmetto Bay and neighboring Pinecrest, to the architects who designed it.
“This is the most beautiful fire station in our entire county,” Levine Cava said. “It has been in the works since 2005. At the end of the day what’s most important are the men and women who serve here each and every day, and this facility is state-of -the-art. I’d like to acknowledge the support of Mayor Karyn Cunningham and the village council, along with former Mayor Eugene Flinn who worked so hard to make this station a success.”
Mayor Cunningham acknowledged the names of those who had a hand in the creation of Station 62.
“One of the first things we did as the new council in 2018 was to create the dedication for this station, along with Mayor Eugene Flinn. I’m happy to see so many people here today who were part of the history of this fire station.”
Councilmember Patrick Fiore spoke about the ironic role Station 62 would play in his own life, when it was still a temporary station before the permanent facility was built.
“Little did I know that the fire station I had voted for would save my wife’s life when she had a stroke. My wife’s life was saved by the men and women who arrived at that time so quickly. I salute you.”
Palmetto Bay resident Esther Copeland, as well as her daughter Stephanie and son Philip spoke lovingly of Esther’s late husband Glenn, who passed away in 2013 when the nearest fire rescue station was too far away. Esther Copeland became an activist in favor of Station 62. A solar powered recharging bench with a plaque dedicated to Glenn Copeland was unveiled in front of the station.
The view of those in the area seems to be positive. Gary Rundlett lives close by and does not feel as though there will be a problem with the noise of sirens. He has a close family member in the fire department and is happy to see the station move into the area.
Kirstin Miller is with the station and explained that the two bays were built to accommodate two trucks. She foresees a time when they also will have a rescue vehicle. There are doors front and back.
“This station was built so that the vehicles can come in through the rear of the building and come out quickly when they need to,” she said. “This ensures the fastest and safest response possible.”