Firefighters who work at the “Pride of Parramore” celebrated the grand opening Wednesday of their third fire station in 92 years.
The ribbon cutting was filled with pomp and circumstance as the Orlando Firefighters Pipe & Drums played bagpipes and a Color Guard displayed the American flag to a crowd of more than 100 people.
Fire Chief Roderick S. Williams welcomed guests to the state-of-the-art facility and detailed the building’s history. He said the first station was built in 1926 and the second built 40 years later. Now 51 years later, a third station opens its doors.
The new 12,000-square-foot station facility is equipped with the latest technology and is Orlando’s first station with escalating emergency tones that alert firefighters through gradual volume rather than a loud ring.
The station also has a Heavy Rescue Unit with tools to perform special operations, like high-angle rescues and vehicle extrications. An Intelligreen system allows firefighters to control the traffic light at the intersection of West Robinson Street and Orange Blossom for a faster, safer response to incidents.
Williams also gave a nod to the Tasmanian Devil mascot of the station, which honors Mark Steinert, who served at Station 2 for 30 years before he died from prostate cancer in 2012. He was the first of three generations of Steinerts to work at the Parramore station. Shawn Steinert, who retired from the City of Orlando Fire Department in July and now works as a Lake Mary firefighter, and his son, Korey Steinert, attended the ceremony.
“We’ve all loved serving here in Parramore,” said Shawn Steinert, who worked as an Orlando firefighter for 27 years. “It’s always busy and there’s a lot of energy here.”
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer noted that “this is a community station” with a meeting room that can be used by local residents. He added that the “Pride of Parramore” is one of the busiest fire stations in the city.
The city will hold a Community Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 22 at Station 2, located at 1215 West Robinson Street.