On Friday morning, a crowd of volunteer firefighters, stakeholders, and supporters gathered at the site of the new Buxton Volunteer Fire Department for an official groundbreaking ceremony that signals the start of construction on a new state-of-the-art facility.
The new station will feature five truck bays that will house the emergency vehicles, meeting rooms, offices, storage rooms for the volunteers, and a fully equipped kitchen, and is a project that multiple speakers at the ceremony said had been needed for some time.
“We saw the need [for a new station] in 1993, when Hurricane Emily came through,” said Buxton VFD Chief Bryan Perry, noting that there have been several close calls with flooding since then for the original, low-lying property.
The Buxton VFD started in 1963 when the first station was built, and the first fire truck was bought a year later in 1964. Today, the Buxton VFD serves a community of about 1,500 year-round residents, and a much larger population in the summer months. The all-volunteer crew has responded to countless calls in the past 55+ years, and continues to dedicate their time to training, meetings, and fire calls.
“Around here on this island, if you see a need, you have to take care of it yourself… and that has continued right on up to this day,” said Chief Perry.
Multiple supporters of the project were thanked during the ceremony for their assistance and contributions, including Paul Henriques, General Contractor of Premiere Contracting, Inc., who also spoke at the ceremony and paid tribute to the volunteer firefighters who would benefit from the project.
“I am blown away by the dedication of these guys,” he said. “It has been a long process to get to this point… and I was reminded several times that we are building this for the next 50 years.”
The history of the station, and the bright future ahead, was a theme for the short Friday ceremony. “This will no longer be the about the past, it will be about the future,” said Chief Perry. “And it will be these guys and gals that carry us on,” he added, referring to the roughly 15 Buxton VFD members in attendance.
Chief Perry also noted that the Buxton VFD continues to welcome new members, as the need for protecting the expanding community continues to grow.
“If anyone [wants] to contribute, no matter what village you live in, don’t hesitate to reach out,” he said. “Everyone can come aboard and contribute.”
The firehouse will take approximately nine months to complete, and will be open later in 2019.
For more information on the progress of the station, visit the Buxton VFD Facebook page and the Premiere Contracting Inc.
Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BuxtonVolunteerFireDepartment/ and https://www.facebook.com/Premiere-Contracting-Inc-378491272269534/ to follow along with this exciting project.