The Austin Volunteer Fire Department held a special ceremony on Saturday to officially unveil its new station. A fire hose uncoupling took place in lieu of a ribbon cutting and all the members of the department participated. The day also served as a fun celebration for the community.
President and Assistant Chief of the department David Spicer welcomed attendees to the celebration saying the group had begun a new commitment with the construction of the new station.
“We’re doing it the same way our ancestors and our founders did back in 1959, we’re gonna build a little bit at a time,” Spicer said.
The initial phase which has been completed includes a large two-bay garage for the fire trucks and other emergency vehicles. The department will expand in the future to build an additional four bays, and a kitchen and meeting space. The previous station will continue to serve the department, as well as the community for special events.
“It’s been a long time coming, but we’re in the process now and going in the right direction,” Spicer said.
Sammy Welborn presented the department with a painting she had done featuring the new station against a backdrop of the American Flag.
“It means a great deal,” Spicer said of the celebration for the new building. “I’ve been in this department 33 years this past June and we’ve worked hard to get where we are.”
He said it meant a lot to him to see the department grow. He said there was a lot of unity among the group.
“It’s just a big brotherhood,” he said.
Austin Fire Chief Billy Vanhoy said the day meant a lot to him as well, not only the celebration of the new building, but the opportunity to provide fire safety information to the community and a fun event for kids.
There was free food, door prizes, a 50/50 raffle, bounce houses for the kids and live music as the celebration.
“It’s just a whole day about giving back to the community,” Vanhoy said. “We hope here in a few more years we’ll have everything 100 percent complete.”
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.