By REID TUCKER
The Liberty Volunteer Fire Department is growing along with the community it serves.
The 27-member all-volunteer department unveiled its newly completed 8,000 square foot fire station at a public open house on Saturday, Dec. 14, and more than 200 visitors stopped by for lunch and to tour the facility. The station, located on U.S. 90 just west of DeFuniak Springs, has been in operation since July but final construction on the property was only recently completed. The new firehouse joins the Kings Lake Road station already operated in the department’s central district and long-range plans are already in the works for a third station to be located in the Highway 2 area along U.S. 331 North.
Total cost of the new south district fire station comes in at $1.2 million, $857,000 of which was acquired through a Federal Emergency Management grant, while the rest came from the Liberty Fire Department’s own funds long earmarked for such a project. The building is 100 percent paid for and houses three of the department’s 12 firefighting vehicles on a full-time basis.
As part of its ongoing mission to serve the Liberty community and to assist the nearby municipal and county emergency response agencies, the Liberty Fire Department has expanded its ability to fight large fires. Thanks to extra fire hydrants and an upgrade to 5-inch diameter hoses, the new station’s can effectively project upward of 7,200 gallons anywhere within five miles. This increased capability helps the Liberty community achieve the same fire protection rating as in the city of DeFuniak Springs, which uses a sworn fire department, ultimately saving residents money while also offering a wide range of quality fire protection services.
By REID TUCKER