By Collin Breaux
With that growth in mind, officials representing the unincorporated area and Orange County Fire Authority announced the opening of a new temporary fire station along Cow Camp Road on Thursday, Dec. 8, with a press conference and ribbon-cutting.
The 2,600-square-feet station includes a captain’s office, dorm-style rooms for OCFA employees to stay in, an outdoor workout area, kitchen and other features.
The Cow Camp Road station—located just past the new Rienda visitor area—is expected to be operational for 5-10 years while a permanent station is built in a “more central” location in Rienda. The temporary station could then be repurposed for another use.
“Fire Station 67 is the latest example of great accomplishments based on collaboration,” RMV’s Senior Vice President of Governmental Relations Mike Balsamo said. “Over the decades, Rancho Mission Viejo has partnered with OCFA on seven different fire stations—going all the way back to Mission Viejo, City of Rancho Santa Margarita, Ladera Ranch and now Rancho Mission Viejo. Rancho Mission Viejo has worked closely with OCFA and the County of Orange to ensure its communities are designed and built with state-of-the-art fire prevention technology.”
“The firefighters are part of the community here,” he continued. “We love the look of the facility. It was important for us to have it online early in the development of Rienda.”
The interim station is the first pre-fabricated station “of this scale” built in Orange County, Balsamo said. Xtreme Cubes, a Nevada-based custom modular construction company, oversaw the design and assembling of the building.
OCFA Chief Brian Fennessy said firefighters aim to respond to medical calls safely and quickly, provide comfort and care for the sick and injured and “continuously evolve” emergency medical services to the changing and growing needs of new communities.
“Our pride in being here to help take care of this land and its people is matched only by our gratitude for the partnerships that got us here,” Fennessy said. “For decades, the OCFA, Rancho Mission Viejo and the County of Orange have worked collectively and collaboratively on a fire protection agreement that provides the best possible coverage of this region.”
Fennessy called the Cow Camp Road facility the “Cadillac” of temporary stations.
Outgoing Orange County Fifth District Supervisor Lisa Bartlett said having fire stations around is “extremely important” as new homes are developed.
“A fire can break out at any time. An emergency can break out at any time. Having this station here will really set the residents at ease and make sure that we can cover any emergency possible,” Bartlett said.
Seeing the station come to life is “exciting,” Balsamo said.
“Our No.1 priority is the overall safety and welfare of Rancho Mission Viejo residents and the broader community,” Balsamo said. “This new facility will allow OCFA to fully serve The Ranch and meet all our public safety needs.”
Collin Breaux covers San Juan Capistrano and other South Orange County news as the City Editor for The Capistrano Dispatch. Before moving to California, he covered Hurricane Michael, politics and education in Panama City, Florida. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.