Okaloosa Co. and Eglin Air Force Unveil New Fire Station

Valparaiso, Fla. - When emergencies happen, seconds and minutes could mean life or death. A new fire station in Okaloosa County is dedicated to keep travelers through the air, safe and sound. 

With a new fire station at the heart of Eglin Air Force Base, first responders say they expect response times and safety to dramatically improve. 

"We now have, right at the apex of the run way, this wonderful facility, so that first responders can come very quickly to any kind of situation," explained Chairwoman Carolyn Ketchel, Okaloosa County Board of Commissioners. 

Station No. 4 isn't just for Eglin Air Force Base, the station also supports the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport. 

"Anytime anything happens at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, they'll be rolling out of this brand new fire station and can be at our back door and at the airport with in a minute," said Tracy Stage, Okaloosa County Airport Director.

"We entered into a joint initiative with VPS and Eglin Fire Emergency Services to secure a grant through the FAA to build this fire station," said Chris Young, Assistant Fire Chief. 

For the last eight years, Okaloosa County Commissioners and Eglin Air Force Base have been working to create this $4.3 million station. 

"The station is actually equipped with state of the art alerting facility, where we get direct notification from the Eglin control tower that an emergency is happening," explained Young. 

This new building is equipped with six bunkers for first responders and fire fighters, a top of the line work out room and several new fire engines. "Should we become in an emergency situation, the best of the best will be there," said Stage. 

This new fire station will be fully functional within the week. Fire Station No. 4 is one of ten located in the Okaloosa County.


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