A colorful new fire truck to celebrate Champa Bay

The pandemic that slowed the world down while sending fire rescue departments into overdrive was easier to bear in Hillsborough County in part because the region’s professional sports teams went on an unprecedented run of winning championships.

The Lightning won the Stanley Cup in September 2020, giving the community something to cheer about – even if fans had to watch the whole thing on television. One month later, the Tampa Bay Rays played in the World Series. Four months later, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, helmed by quarterback Tom Brady, won Super Bowl 55 in the team’s home stadium. Six months later, the Lightning won another Stanley Cup. 

In only 10 months, Tampa Bay won three world championships and played in a World Series.

This story is part of Hillsborough County’s 50-for-50 Series, a historic review of some of the memorable events, dates, and people in the history of Hillsborough Fire Rescue, which was born on Aug. 27, 1973. About the Series: Hillsborough’s 50 for 50 Project Celebrates Fire Rescue Heroism, Heritage, History that show the growth, bravery, and specialized operations of Hillsborough County’s largest department.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue (HCFR) marked this improbable run by wrapping a new fire engine to celebrate the three teams. One side of the engine honors the Buccaneers Super Bowl win. The other side recognizes the Lightning’s two Stanley Cups, and the front and back of the truck celebrate the Rays.

Station 9’s ChampaBay’s Fire Truck parked in front of One Buc Place in Tampa.
Station 9’s ChampaBay’s Fire Truck parked in front of One Buc Place in Tampa.
Station 9’s ChampaBay’s Fire Truck parked in front of One Buc Place in Tampa.

The engine’s wrap was specifically designed to retain its reflective safety features to remain highly visible while on the job.

Named Champa Bay’s Fire Truck, the new engine serves Hillsborough residents from Station No. 9 in Brandon – one of the County’s busiest stations.

HCFR chiefs wanted the new Champa Bay’s Fire Truck to be a source of pride for residents when they see it on the job, but also for the brave men and women who serve the County. Adding Champa Bay’s Fire Truck to the fleet during a time of heavy workload for the fire service gave the crews something else to be proud about.

ChampaBay’s Fire Truck visiting the Rays’ Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
ChampaBay’s Fire Truck visiting the Rays’ Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
ChampaBay’s Fire Truck visiting the Rays’ Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.

Champa Bay’s Fire Truck is one of the most photographed fire engines in the nation. HCFR chiefs hope that the truck is a point of pride and morale boost for the more than 1,200 firefighters, paramedics, and other staff that worked diligently during the pandemic to keep Hillsborough County residents safe.

Image Caption: ChampaBay’s Fire Truck in Thunder Alley outside Amalie Arena.
Last Modified: 8/23/2023, 5:06:45 PM

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