LIBERTY, Fla. (WMBB) — North Walton County residents have a change in emergency operations.
The State Fire Marshal sent a letter to shut down the Liberty Volunteer Fire District after a lack of workers compensation insurance.
According to the letter, liberty was ordered to stop all operations at midnight on Friday, Nov. 18.
“This is only happening because they have failed to pay the worker’s comp. Now, you have to understand, worker’s comp has $1,000 a day. Fine. On top of it. You know, that’s what it said in the letter from the state bar marshal’s office. You cannot let that lapse,” said Michael Adkinson, Walton County Sheriff.
Walton County Fire and Rescue already responds to the Liberty area to assist with major calls and help the volunteer fire district. Sheriff Adkinson said now they are sending extra equipment and personnel to this area to respond faster to all calls made to 911.
“What we’re doing is stepping in and making sure that the citizens are covered and protected. That’s really the main thing, you know, whether or not they resolve this particular issue. Hopefully, they’re able to do that in a timely manner. But until then, I think it’s important for the citizens to know we’re not going to let things fall between the cracks. We’re going to stay out there, we’re going to cover the calls, and we’ll do what needs to be done to make sure that they’re protected and safe,” said Adkinson.
The state tasked Liberty Volunteer Fire District to pay off their workers compensation troubles in order to resume activity.
“They need to get their situation worked out financially and if they do that this week, then we certainly will pull out and be there to assist them as needed,” said Adkinson.
The Liberty Volunteer Fire District and Argyle Fire District are currently being investigated by the state legislature for a number of non-compliance issues.
These issues are separate from the worker compensation letter shutting down operations in Liberty on Nov. 18.
Read more about the ongoing legislative investigation online.
News 13 scheduled a talk with Liberty Volunteer Fire District Asst. Chief Tony Roy at 6 pm on Monday Nov. 20. He failed to answer return calls to give comment.