The Florosa Fire Department operates from Station #5, established in 1966. Read on for more information about our mission and history.
The localities of Florosa and Wynnhaven Beach are all part of the Fire District, which extends from Hurlburt AFB to the Okaloosa County line. The district was initially called the Southwest Okaloosa County Fire Control District. Years later, the District was renamed to Florosa Fire Control District and was legislated to serve as an Independent Special District in 1999.
History of the Florosa Fire Department:
Fire protection was first provided in this area by a single refurbished oil tanker purchased for $25 and housed in Mr. Al Hammett's backyard, just northwest of our current location at 1900 W. Highway 98. The first meetings of the fire district were held at the north end of Castle Road in a temporary structure on Eglin AFB reservation property. This structure was built in conjunction with a baseball diamond. It was used by the Baptist Church and as a meeting place for the Seashore Village Water System and local civic association meetings.
In 1965, Mr. Edger R. Day, the original developer of Seashore Village, donated the parcel of property on which our next fire station was built. The original building was constructed of concrete blocks, built by the "Red Horse" Squadron from Hurlburt Field and local volunteers. In 1984 an additional 18,000-square-foot lot was purchased from Mrs. Janice Day, the widow of Edger Day. This provided space for parking and future growth.
In August 1995, a tornado spawned from Hurricane Erin tore off the roof, cracked a wall, and fractured the foundation of the fire station. Then just two months later, the rest of the building was totally destroyed by Hurricane Opal. With the help of a FEMA grant and insurance proceeds, the present-day fire station was built on the parcel acquired from Janice Day and opened in 1996. The metal building was sufficient to house three fire engines and provide space for offices and volunteer firefighter staging but was limited in survivability and future expansion potential.
Plans for a new building were in the works for over a decade. With the growth of the community and increasing traffic on the highway, our current 3-bay fire station built in 1996 had become inadequate to house the equipment and vehicles needed to service the district properly. In 2006 the Commission decided to acquire land located closer to the center of the district for the “future” fire station. As the years progressed, those plans became formalized as a design concept and approach, leading to a referendum placed on the ballot in 2018 asking the community to vote on increasing the Ad Valorem millage rate for construction costs for the new fire station. The referendum passed with overwhelming community support. Construction began in 2020 and was near completion in early 2023, allowing a temporary move-in date by December just in time for Santa and his helpers to base Christmas operations from our new home. Finalized minor construction items and interior details are being completed during spring 2023 with plans for an open house event to occur sometime in the summer.