The grand opening of Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue Station 62 took place Saturday, November 9 with a ton of dignitaries and neighbors on-hand. Located at the southeast corner of Old Cutler Road and SW 142 Terrace, this station runs 24/7/365 with three paramedics and one officer (who is also a paramedic).
After nearly three years as a temporary location, residents of Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest and Coral Gables now have a station that fills a void and significantly reduces response times in the area.
It was MDFR’s CFO Scott Mendelsberg who proudly announced the station officially open and operational. However, lots of community activists and government officials truly made this a reality. Ever since 2005, the MDFR has tried to find a suitable location for an additional Fire-Rescue station.
The morning brought fire safely lessons to the kids who attended, tours of the fire house, tours of Engine 62 and a few very important stories.
Councilman Patrick Fiore, who himself championed for a station for years, saw the fruits of his labor in an unexpected way.
“In March of 2018, my wife suffered a massive stroke and the heroes from the then temporary Engine 62 made it to her in less than 4 minutes,” explained a choked-up Fiore. “They saved her life and I salute them.”
The interim Fire Chief, Maurice Kemp, explained, “We’ve opened 10 fire stations recently, but it is local advocacy that helps determines where. This, therefore, is your fire station and the results of your community efforts.”
County Commissioner Danielle Levine Cava echoed those words, adding, “This state-of-the-art facility is also the most beautiful station in the entire County.”
Mayor Karyn Cunningham, along with Vice Mayor John DuBois and Councilmembers Fiore and David Singer also made sure to recognize the efforts of resident David Zisman, who received a special Certificate of Recognition for his advocacy.
Former Mayor Eugene Flinn, who has strongly advocated for this MDFR station, pointed out, “There are two bay doors at this station. One is for the already active Engine 62 and the other is for the future Rescue 62, which should not be too far distant future. There is nothing more important than life safety services and I thank Commissioner Katy Sorenson for the original support and Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava efforts to bring it to fruition.”
The Village of Palmetto Bay unveiled a solar powered bench that is located at the front doors of the station, dedicating it to Glenn Dean Copeland, who arguably lost his life in 2013 because the fire-rescue team could not respond to him quickly enough due to distance. Esther Copeland, wife of Glenn, had become a strong champion for the station in the wake of his death saying at the ceremony, “I have found the silver lining [and this is it].”
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