TAMPA, Fla. - Tampa City Councilman Luis Viera wasn’t willing to wait.
“The statistics that I will be talking about, they demand relief, and they demand action,” he said during a city council meeting Thursday.
He was discussing statistics on Tampa Fire Rescue’s Station 13, the busiest in Tampa, and one of the busiest in the nation.
In 2019, “Station 13 responded to 11,000 calls for service,” Viera said. “That’s one out of 23 stations, but one in seven calls city-wide came from the range of station 13. Station 13 had 5,300 runs, making it the 20th busiest station in the United States of America.”
Thursday, the council passed a motion asking the city to come up with a master plan for public safety to ease the pressure on stations like thirteen.
“Public safety is obviously the number one priority in the city of Tampa,” he said. “Whether it’s police, fire or EMS. That is the number one thing that I think residents in the city of Tampa look to us for. And I think if we are falling behind on that, it should cause us to re-examine our priorities.”
They’re giving the city 45 days to do so.
“We come back in January of 2021 and the administration and fire rescue present their plan for immediate relief, right here right now.”
By March, the council says they’ll take up the final part of the issue: needing additional fire stations.
“Throughout the city of Tampa, New Tampa, North Tampa and Channelside, and talk about how to fund those.”
At this time, there is no firehouse infrastructure or first responder capacity in that area. And with 23,000 new residents and 9-million square feet of office and retail development, Viera says that need needs to change.