In October of 2018, Midway’s Fire Station 1 was badly damaged by wind and rain during Hurricane Michael.
Now, nearly five years later, the City of Midway has completed repairs and reopened the station.
On Monday, April 24, Midway’s fire fighters celebrated the grand reopening of Fire Station 1 along with city officials including Mayor Ella Parker Dickey and the city council.
“It is a milestone for the City of Midway,” said Dickey in her opening remarks. “I would like to thank Chief Nathan Yarusso and his team for all the work they have done. It is awesome to see this building opened again.”
The damages to the station required a complete removal and replacement of the building’s interior, the total cost of which exceeded the insurance payout and FEMA disaster funding.
Despite the shortfall, the Mayor and the city council prioritized the completion of station repairs for the 2023 fiscal year.
Councilwoman NanDrycka King Albert spoke to the Midway community members gathered to celebrate the reopening about the importance of having adequate fire protection in the city.
“We now have two fire stations,” said Councilwoman Albert, “one on this side of the track, and one on the other side of the tracks. That is definitely a milestone.”
In all, the city spent close to $100,000 on the repairs, and much of the work was done by Chief Yarusso and volunteer fire personnel.
“I can’t thank my firefighters enough for the long night hours we have spent up here getting this place in order,” said Yarusso. “I’m extremely proud of the growth that we’ve experienced, and there’s more to come. We’re steadily growing, and in my opinion, we have one of the greatest volunteer departments in this county, and our equipment is getting better, our staff is phenomenal, and I thank everyone for all the support we have received. There’s more to come.”
Stephen Klein – Gadsden County News Service