Destin's new fire station located in a former wedding venue

Destin’s new fire station located in a former wedding venue

By TINA HARBUCK, Northwest Florida Every day Information

DESTIN, Fla. (AP) — What was as soon as a spot the place {couples} exchanged marriage ceremony vows is now Destin’s new hearth station on Choctawhatchee Bay.

The Destin Hearth Management District bought the Destin Bay Home at 127 Calhoun Ave. for $2.3 million and commenced making calls from the world as early as July 2021.

However the change over the previous few months from a marriage venue to a totally useful hearth station on the west finish of Destin overlooking the bay is almost full.

All that continues to be is to put in doorways on the constructing that homes the fireplace truck and set up a air flow system.

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“We have needed to be on the water for years, and we lastly bought the chance to do it, and we took benefit of it,” Hearth Chief Kevin Sasser mentioned.

The property has 90 ft of waterfront and is situated between Clement Taylor Park and Capt. Leonard Destin on the Bay. On the property is workplace house within the entrance, a bay to accommodate the brand new No. 19 hearth truck, dwelling quarters for the firefighters, and a dock for jet skis and a fireboat.

“Now we have a big variety of calls occurring on the water,” Sasser mentioned, noting that Destin is an aquatic neighborhood with many individuals proudly owning boats and recreating on the water.

“It was essential that we had a quicker response to calls from the water,” Sasser mentioned.

And the placement of the brand new substation is “the place we should be,” Sasser mentioned.

From the placement, they’ll flip left and enter the Gulf of Mexico or the Port of Destin. In entrance of the property is Crab Island, the water playground the place hundreds of individuals congregate, then to the suitable is the bay and the Mid-Bay Bridge space.

“It is the proper place,” Sasser mentioned.

Up to now, it took Destin Hearth about 15-20 minutes to reply to on-water emergencies. Firefighters are anticipated to go away the primary station on Airport Street and proceed to their vessel on Destin Harbor at Fishing Fleet Marina.

Now the ship is situated straight on the bay behind the substation.

“Crab Island is straight the place a whole lot of calls are generated,” Sasser mentioned.

Not solely is the placement good for calls on the water, however for folks on land.

“Our calls right here have been simply ridiculous. And with the visitors in the summertime, it is tough for us. And each second counts in saving a life,” mentioned hearth marshal Mike Buckingham.

“These guys can throw on all of the sirens and lights they have and folks nonetheless will not stroll away,” Buckingham mentioned.

So when the property opened, Buckingham mentioned, “It was the proper place.”

“We constructed what we wanted to accommodate the truck and the blokes in one of the best location we may discover,” Buckingham mentioned.

They have been capable of flip the bay home into dwelling quarters for the firefighters inexpensively.

“It was fairly an open house. We simply added some partitions. It was straightforward and really cheap to downgrade that constructing from the marriage home so it will probably now home six guys,” Buckingham mentioned.

As for the truck bay for the brand new low-profile Hearth Engine 19, they constructed a 40 by 60 constructing. The constructing features a bathe room and alter room, in addition to a washer and dryer system.

“They’ll be capable of do all their decontamination right here,” Sasser mentioned, holding carcinogens out of their dwelling quarters.

The brand new engine, which prices round $450,000, is smaller and might drive out and in of driveways alongside Calhoun Avenue and different west-end residences which have tall oak bushes and hanging branches.

“With the outdated truck, we needed to cease on the highway…now we will get off,” Sasser mentioned.

“I’ll say a whole lot of residents on this aspect of city have mentioned thanks, thanks, thanks,” Buckingham mentioned.

Destin is 7 miles lengthy and about 3 miles large at its widest level.

“We’re right here to guard you, land or water, we are going to defend you,” Buckingham mentioned.

Together with the brand new substation, Destin Hearth Management District has a brand new boat coming. The present boat is a 26 footer; nonetheless, a forty five footer is on the best way.

Sasser mentioned the brand new boat must be able to go by the tip of 2023.

The brand new boat may have a cabin the place they’ll work on one individual.

“All of the issues that we have to do to them medically, we should always be capable of do on this boat,” Sasser mentioned.

“If somebody has a coronary heart assault, we will put leads on them. Our job is to guard Destin and the waterways in and round Destin. And the earlier you will get them that superior care, the higher off they will be,” Sasser mentioned.

Together with the brand new boat, Destin Hearth is trying to make enhancements to the present docks.

They hope to make Calhoun Station a “maritime emergency response heart” and never only a hearth division, Buckingham mentioned.

Buckingham has already contacted the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Workplace in addition to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Fee relating to the set up of a ship at Calhoun Station.

“They’re so excited, however nothing is about in stone. However the hearth marshals are all on board,” Buckingham mentioned.

Along with a brand new boat, Destin Hearth has a brand new ladder truck on its technique to Station 9 on Airport Street.

Sasser mentioned the brand new 100-foot-plus ladder truck is anticipated to be accomplished in December.

“In Destin, how can we not have a ladder truck when we have now over 50 high-rise buildings and 50 mid-rise buildings…we have now to have a ladder truck,” he mentioned.

The price of the brand new truck is $1.4 million.

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