Dilapidated Fire House Reopens as TPD's State-of-the-Art Bomb Operations Center

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WHAT: Chief Jane Castor, 13 Ugly Men, IKEA Tampa and V.M. Ybor community leaders announce the grand opening of the new Bomb Operations Center. See TPD's bomb robots in action and meet the horses of Tampa's Mounted Patrol

WHEN: 11/30/2011, 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: 2611 12th Street North, Tampa

DETAILS: From eye sore to eye catching - the once run down fire station is now helping revitalize the
V.M.Ybor Neighborhood. Tampa Fire Rescue was forced to move out of Fire Station 2 when it became uninhabitable in early 2000. Last year, the Tampa Police Department's Bomb Squad partnered with the nonprofit group, 13 Ugly Men and IKEA Tampa to rehab the building. This started a swell of community donations and volunteers who have turned the 87-year-old building into a neighborhood asset.

Tampa's Regional Bomb Squad that serves the municipalities in seven counties will conduct specialized, advanced training at the facility. When responding to a scene, the Bomb Squad will deploy from its new operations center. The Bomb Operations Center will house a variety of the Bomb Squad's special equipment. Tampa's Regional Team is comprised of eight jurisdictions and serves the entire Tampa Bay Area.

Tampa's Mounted Patrol is a fixture in Ybor City on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and now the horses have a new covered resting area behind the Bomb Operations Center. 13 Ugly Men donated supplies to build the barn that will be in use during weekend nights.

This project is a true community partnership! A long list of local businesses gave generously to convert the old fire station into a state-of-the-art facility:

13 Ugly Men, IKEA Tampa, Merit Professional Coatings, H2 High Lift, Glidden Professional, Ignition Branding, Clean Sweep Janitorial Supply, EcoReps, Roto-Rooter, Old Navy, Mangroves Bar and Grill, Neogard, High Reach Company, Feldman Orthodontics, Fever Racing, Electric Supply Inc., The Lighting Factory, Clean City, LLT's Building Supplies, Joe Cruz, Chris and Laura Kessler, Mike Morrow, Bobby DePerte and Robert Nicholson

Laura McElroy