New fire station opens in Keystone Heights

Wesley LeBlanc
Posted 12/19/18

A new fire station in Keystone Heights was commissioned into service Monday night after nearly a year of construction.

At the start of the year, Clay County officials and city officials from …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for subscribing.

Single day pass

You also have the option of purchasing 24 hours of access, for $1.00. Click here to purchase a single day pass.

New fire station opens in Keystone Heights

Posted

A new fire station in Keystone Heights was commissioned into service Monday night after nearly a year of construction.

At the start of the year, Clay County officials and city officials from Keystone Heights gathered at the site of what is now Fire Station 11 in Keystone Heights to break ground. Replacing the old antiquated fire station that called downtown Keystone Heights home for over 50 years, the new Fire Station 11 sits just outside the city limits. County Commissioner Gavin Rollins, who represents Keystone Heights, said the station is a testament to the county’s commitment to public safety.

“It’s a symbol,” Rollins said. “It stands as a symbol to our commitment to public safety. Government does a lot of things, but the No. 1 most important thing government does is public safety and this stands as a towering example of the Clay County Commission’s united commitment to public safety.”

The new fire station, at 7390 State Road 21, has 10,360 square feet of space and cost $2.4 million to complete. It replaced the old Fire Station 11 that was built sometime in the 1950s or 1960s, according to Clay County Fire Chief Lorin Mock, that could house only five adults in its 900 square feet.

The new Fire Station 11 accommodates six on-duty employees comfortably. It has three vehicle bays that can house up to six emergency vehicles, something Mock said the previous station couldn’t do. Mock said the modern station will make his employees happier.

“It’s an early Christmas gift to those men and women there,” Mock said. “They had to live in this tiny station for years and years and now, they can live comfortably.”

According to Mock, the three previous chiefs of Fire Station 11 said their greatest irritations with the station itself was that they never felt they had a facility adequate enough for the equipment and staff.

“This is just a testament to where we’ll go in the future,” Mock said.

The fire station wasn’t the only thing new to Mock and the firefighters of Fire Station 11 – they also received a brand-new fire truck specially-equipped for the more rural areas it will service.

Mock said more than any other station in the county, Fire Station 11 deals more with wildfires and other off road-like emergencies. Because of that, it’s been built to handle not only the more urban parts of the area, but the rural sections as well, which is a necessity in covering Keystone Heights, Mock said.

During the ceremony for both the station and the new fire truck, which was steeped in tradition, Keystone Heights Mayor Karen Lake took to the mic to explain her bittersweet excitement for the new station, which she and residents have already dubbed, “The Big House on the Hill.”

“It’s kind of bittersweet for those of us who grew up with [Fire Station 11] stationed inside city limits, but...if you go by the [old Fire Station 11], you can see and appreciate what they’re going from and what they’re going to. It’s with much care that we’re really happy for all of you moving from the little house on Flamingo Street to the big house on the hill.”

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment