Fire Department 'tops out' new station Published June 3, 2019 By Jasmine Porterfield EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Firefighters here hosted a “topping out” ceremony on the construction site of the installation’s newest fire station May 29. The centuries-old practice honors what was taken from the earth to build a structure by placing a tree on top of the last beam of its frame. Once the structure is complete, the tree is then planted near the structure, according to Eglin Fire Chief, Mark Giuliano. Instead of a tree, Eglin Fire Department members placed an American thin red line flag and a fire department flag on the last metal beam of the structure’s frame, lifted it up and bolted it to the highest point of the roof with the flags hanging. The flags will stay in place as long as possible through the completion of the structure. Once complete, the fire station, flanked by the flight line, will consolidate five function areas under one roof. The facility will be home to more than 20 personnel responsible for administration, operations, training and education, health and safety, and communications. The station will also house a state-of-the-art collocated fire department and security forces 911 dispatch center to ensure aircraft emergency response times are streamlined and met, according to Giuliano. The fire station is scheduled to be complete in January 2020.