WAUSAU, Fla. (WMBB) — A small volunteer fire department just got a big upgrade.

In the over 50 years since the Wausau Volunteer Fire Department was formed, Saturday was the first day they had an actual firehouse.

“I remember when our first fire department back in the ’60s was just in a little tin building actually under a little shelter, a little lean-too,” Wausau Mayor Roger Hagan said. “A borrowed fire truck from the forestry department and here we are today with a completely outfitted and trained fire department.”

The department has shared space at city hall and even worked out of a pole barn for some time.

“At the time we had about a million dollars worth of equipment under a $10,000 shed so this is a huge upgrade from where we came from to where we are today,” Assistant Fire Chief Adam Smith said.

Around four years ago, the wheels were set in motion to build the department, their own state-of-the-art firehouse.

The town was able to secure the necessary funds through legislative appropriation and Governor Ron DeSantis to build the over $1 million dollar facility.

“This lets us have a place where our firemen can train,” Hagan said. “It lets them have a place to have their meetings. It lets them have a place to come to after a call, after an event, and be able to wind down. It gives us a place for the people to come to. It can be a staging area in the event of another hurricane or similar thing. It’s just going to be really good for the town and for the county as a whole.”

Smith said the new firehouse will greatly benefit the community.

“It’s the old saying, whenever seconds count, we’re minutes away so the closer we are the better our equipment the faster our response so putting this station here in the center of the county not only helps this town but the communities around us with a faster response,” Smith said.

Hagan said if you would like a tour, you can come by the new station at Washington Street and 2nd Avenue and they will be happy to show you around.