Tyndall Air Force Base introduces new fire facilities

Tyndall Air Force Base took another step forward in Hurricane Michael's recovery.
Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 6:54 PM CDT
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TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A ribbon cutting signifies a new beginning.

That’s what took place at Tyndall Air Force Base on Wednesday, as two new fire facilities were introduced.

“We’re officially welcoming some new facilities that have been under construction for quite a while,” said Freddie L. Stephens II, Commander of the 801st Red Horse Training Squadron.

One of the buildings will be used for fire training, and the other for vehicle maintenance.

Hurricane Michael left trainers scrambling to find places to conduct their sessions.

“After the storm, the students and the trainers here had to operate out of a lot of temporary facilities,” said Chief Robert Bartlow of the Natural Disaster Recovery Division.

These new buildings will give everyone a place to feel comfortable once again.

“They had to do that with temporary facilities and workarounds, so getting these permanent facilities completed just enhances their abilities to train the force,” said Bartlow.

Given the history, the new buildings were constructed with hurricanes in mind.

They can each withstand Category 5 winds and storm surge.

Officials say that their men and women are fired up for their new digs.

“It means a great deal to the guys to be able to move into a new firehouse, state of the art. Something now that they can be proud of, that they can take care of, that they haven’t had in quite some time,” said Mike Newbury, Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention.

This is a monumental milestone for the Tyndall Fire Department, representing one more step back to normal operations.

“It just means the world to us, being able to bring certain capabilities back for the students. Instead of visualizing or imitating what realistic would be, they get an opportunity to actually train out of some of these facilities,” Stephens said.