Osceola County has announced they will be starting construction on the first of three fire stations to be built in the current budget year as well completing the expansion of the Sheriff’s training facility in Harmony.

The fire stations at Austin-Tindal, Poinciana and West 192 are not replacing existing stations but adding to the capabilities of the County’s Fire Rescue & EMS response framework.

Each station represents a capital investment of about $6 million dollars, not counting the fire apparatus and other equipment that will be stationed at each site. Work on the first station is expected to start this summer.

“It’s exciting to see these projects move forward as it means that our citizens will be safer and receive improved response to emergencies,” said Osceola Commission Chairman Brandon Arrington. “Our commitment to public safety is measured in the millions of dollars – and it is important to note that we are targeting these dollars in areas where the needs are greatest.”

Osceola County is also wrapping up expansion of the Sheriff’s training facility in Harmony.

The first phase of the Sheriff’s Training complex  began in 2016 with a $19.1 million budget Work was completed in 2017 including the extension of Arthur J. Gallagher Boulevard, site clearing, all site utilities and storm water, driving pad, skid pad, armory building, shoot house, a pistol range bay, a 300-yard range tower and range, and an all-terrain range.

Budget for the second phase on the 101-acre site is $6.3 million – and includes construction of a 16,388-square-foot training facility with a defensive tactics training gym, shooting simulator area, driving simulator area, 3 classrooms, and offices for training staff.

The County is also working to improve the Sheriff’s operations with selection of an architect for the West Government Center underway. Osceola County Commissioners approved the purchase of the vacant commercial space for that facility in 2016. The Center, which will be located at 2925 International Drive near U.S. Highway 192 on a 4.6-acre site, will serve as an operational hub for the Sheriff’s Office on the west side of Osceola County.

The Sheriff’s Office currently operates those services from a portion of a County fire station, located on Pleasant Hill Road, and receives a high volume of calls for service in the area.

Osceola County has invested $10.3 million in new fire station properties and $22.1 million in replacement stations, as well as a dedicated fire training facility, and annual commitments of $1.3 million in apparatus replacement and $200,000-300,000 in tool and equipment replacement.