Apopka gets state funding for permanent Fire Station 6

‘We’re going to exponentially be able to increase our response times’

The governor approved $1 million from the state's budget to fund a new fire department in Apopka.

APOPKA, Fla. – A portion of the state budget -- $1 million -- will fund the new Fire Station 6 in southwest Apopka.

Replacing the current site: a trailer with a large carport to hold a firetruck. The temporary station opened in 2018 outside AdventHealth’s Apopka hospital in the fast-growing southwest area of the city.

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“We’ve got plenty of housing going in, some commercial industrial site, so it’s a great growth area for us, so it’s the right timing for the station,” Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson said.

The fire station serves the 32703 zip code. According to data from the U.S. Postal Service, nearly 500 businesses, families and individuals moved into the area over the last five years, with continued growth expected.

“When you look at that as a first responder, you look at our density and this area is starting to increase in density, so we need more adequate response,” Apopka Fire Chief Sean Wylam said.

The new station will house 15 firefighters, an increase from the six currently at Station 6, with additional firefighting trucks, a reserve engine and an ambulance.

“We’re going to exponentially be able to increase our response times,” Wylam said.

Funding for the new station was part of the state budget that made it to the governor’s desk in 2019 and 2020 but was vetoed. Local legislators continued to push for the funding.

“We knew the need. We knew the growth going on here and every year it would get vetoed and it was frustrating. And we would make our case to the governor’s office that it was crucial, and finally he heard us,” Sen. Randolph Bracy said.

“It’s been a difference of opinion on whether it’s the city’s responsibility or up to the state to help assist,” said House Rep. Camia Brown.

The new fire station will be located northeast of the hospital along Harmon Road. Harmon Road will also be extended as part of the project.

Fire station 6 is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a morning news anchor who joined the News 6 team in 2020.