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SWFD Offices Closed for Thanksgiving

2015-11-19,

Offices Closed





End



South Walton 8th Annual Elf Ride

2015-11-16,

Elf Ride





End



South Walton Angel Tree

2015-11-04,

Angels have Arrived



For the 15th consecutive year, South Walton Fire District (SWFD) is once again has the honor to sponsor the Caring and Sharing "Angel Tree".

Each holiday season the "Angel Tree" is filled with names of children throughout Walton County that otherwise may not receive Christmas gifts without your assistance. This year the Fire District will receive over 300 angel names. "Angels" will be available for selection beginning Friday, November 6, 2015 from 9:00 a.m-4:00 p.m. at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 North County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach.

Gifts may be returned to Station 3/Headquarters no later than Tuesday, December 8, 2015.

Please reach into your heart and choose your own special child or family to help make their Christmas wishes come true.

For more information or to schedule a special time to select an angel name, please contact Robbie Lund, Administrative Assistant at Station 3/Headquarters, 850-267-1298, via email at rlund@swfd.org



End



SWFD Offices Closed on November 11

2015-11-04,

Closed





End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

AUDIT COMMITTEE MEETING

2015-09-18,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Audit Committee meeting on


Tuesday, September 22, 2015
at 9:30 a.m.

SWFD Station 3/Headquarters
911 N County Highway 393
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459


The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the planning of the South Walton Fire Districts 2014/2015 audit with Kevin Bowyer of Warren Averett, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.

End



NOTICE
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT

NOTICE

Special Meeting

2015-09-18,

NOTICE



Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a Special Meeting on:

Monday, September 28, 2015
5:15 p.m.
or as soon thereafter as it can be heard.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, Conference Room
911 N County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the Special Meeting is for the Board to ratify the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

For more information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



NOTICE
SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT FIREFIGHTERS
RETIREMENT SYSTEM

NOTICE

PENSION BOARD
SPECIAL MEETING

2015-09-18,

NOTICE



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will hold a special meeting on

Monday, September 21, 2015
5:00 p.m.

at South Walton Fire District
911 N. County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

The purpose of the meeting will be the continuation of the eligibility hearing for Leanne Thompson and to approve a budget.

For questions or further information, please email Nate Brown, Chairman at nbrown@swfd.org.

End



NOTICE
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT

NOTICE

Executive Session

2015-09-02,

NOTICE



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on:

Thursday, September 10, 2015
8:30 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, Training Room
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss labor negotiations.

For more information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



NOTICE
CONTRACT NEGOTIATION SESSIONS

2015-08-27,

NOTICE



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida on:

August 26, 2015, 9 a.m.
September 1, 2015, 10 a.m.
September 10, 2015, 1 p.m.

The purpose of these meetings will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA. For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



NOTICE
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT

NOTICE

Final Public Hearing of
Ad Valorem Taxes
and Budget 2015/2016

2015-08-27,

NOTICE



The Board of Fire Commissioners of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) will hold the First Public Hearing on

Monday, September 28, 2015
5:01 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters,
911 N County Highwy 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions.

End



NOTICE
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT

NOTICE

First Public Hearing of
Tentative Ad Valorem Taxes
and Budget 2015/2016

2015-08-27,

NOTICE



The Board of Fire Commissioners of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) will hold the First Public Hearing on

Thursday, September 17, 2015
5:01 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters,
911 N County Highwy 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions.

End



NOTICE
CONTRACT NEGOTIATION SESSIONS

2015-08-06,

NOTICE



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida on:

August 11, 2015, 9 a.m.
August 20, 2015, 9 a.m.
August 26, 2015, 9 a.m.

The purpose of these meetings will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA. For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



NOTICE
SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
NOTICE
Executive Session

2015-08-06,

NOTICE



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on:

Thursday, August 20, 2015
2:00 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, Training Room
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss labor negotiations.

For more information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



NOTICE
2015/2016 BUDGET WORKSHOP

2015-08-04,

NOTICE



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a workshop on

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
2:00 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters,
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the workshop is to for Fire District Staff to present the 2015/2016 budget and discuss issues/cost saving measures.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this workshop.

End



NOTICE
CONTRACT NEGOTIATION SESSIONS

2015-07-17,

NOTICE



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida on:

July 30, 2015, 9 a.m. Cancelled
August 5, 2015, 9 a.m.
August 11, 2015, 9 a.m.
August 20, 2015, 9 a.m.

The purpose of these meetings will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA. For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE of

Executive Session

2015-07-07,

NOTICE



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on:

Monday, July 13, 2015
at 4:30 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, Conference Room
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss the BP Claim



For more information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE of

Special Meeting

2015-07-07,

NOTICE



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a Special Meeting on:

Monday, July 13, 2015
at 3:45 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, Conference Room
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the Special Meeting is for the Board to approve an Executive Session to be held following the regular Board Meeting on July 13, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. to discuss the BP Claim.

For more information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SWFD Offices Closed on February 16

2015-07-01,

Closed





End



NOTICE of
CONTRACT NEGOTIATION SESSIONS

2015-06-23,

NOTICE



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida on:

June 30, 2015 at 9 a.m. - CANCELLED
July 9, 2015, 1 p.m.
July 15, 2015, 9 a.m.
July 30, 2015, 9 a.m.
August 5, 2015, 9 a.m.
August 20, 2015, 9 a.m.

The purpose of these meetings will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



NOTICE of
Vacant Fire Commissioner Seat 7

2015-05-19,

NOTICE



South Walton Fire District is seeking qualified applicants to fill an interim position for Seat 7 on the Board of Fire Commissioners. Applicants shall reside in South Walton within boundaries of the Intracoastal Waterway to the North and the Walton/Bay County line to the East, then South to the Gulf of Mexico and West to the Walton/Okaloosa County line. A qualified applicant must also be a registered voter in Walton County at the time of the application.

Each fire commissioner serves a term of four years and is eligible for re-election. The newly appointed Seat 7 Interim Board member would serve June 8, 2015 through November 11, 2016.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit a letter of interest along with a list of qualifications to the Board of Fire Commissioners, 911 N. County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459-5371. The deadline to apply is June 1, 2015

End



NOTICE of
CONTRACT NEGOTIATION SESSIONS

2015-03-30,

NOTICE



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida on:

April 28, 2015 at 9 a.m.
May 13, 2015 at 9 a.m.
May 28, 2015 at 9 a.m.
June 3, 2015 at 9 a.m.
June 18, 2015 at 9 a.m.
June 30, 2015 at 9 a.m.

The purpose of these meetings will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE of

Executive Session

2015-03-30,

NOTICE



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on:

Monday, April 13, 2015
at 2:00 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, Training Room
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss labor negotiations.

For more information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SWFD Offices Closed on February 16

2015-02-03,

Closed





End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT FIREFIGHTERS
RETIREMENT SYSTEM

NOTICE

PENSION BOARD SPECIAL MEETING

2015-02-03,

NOTICE



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will hold a special meeting on

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

at 2:30 p.m

South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters,

911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be the continuation of the eligibility hearing for Leanne Thompson.

For questions or further information, please email Nate Brown, Chairman at nbrown@swfd.org

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE
FINAL PUBLIC HEARING

2015-01-27,

NOTICE



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will meet on:

Monday, February 9, 2015

at 4:30 p.m.

at South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters,

911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will meet on Monday, February 9, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. or as soon thereafter as it can be heard. The meeting will be held at South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

All interested parties may appear at the meeting and be heard with respect to the proposed ordinance of the South Walton Fire District creating the adoption of the Florida Fire Prevention Code.

A copy of the Proposed Ordinance may be inspected at South Walton Fire District or by clicking HERE for Ordinance 15-01.

*Note: Persons who wish to be placed on the agenda must contact the Administrative Assistant within two days of any meeting and provide the name of the person who will be speaking and the subject to be addressed.

If a person decides to appeal any decision made by the South Walton Fire Districts Board of Fire Commissioners with respect to any matter considered at such meeting or hearing, will need a record of the proceedings and that for such purpose may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE
FIRST PUBLIC HEARING

2015-01-05,

NOTICE



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will meet on:

Monday, January 26, 2015

at 4:15 p.m.

at South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters,

911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

All interested parties may appear at the meeting and be heard with respect to the proposed ordinance of the South Walton Fire District creating the adoption of the Florida Fire Prevention Code.

A copy of the Proposed Ordinance may be inspected at South Walton Fire District.

If a person decides to appeal any decision made by the South Walton Fire Districts Board of Fire Commissioners with respect to any matter considered at such meeting or hearing, will need a record of the proceedings and that for such purpose may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE
SPECIAL MEETING

2015-01-05,

NOTICE



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will meet on:

Monday, January 26, 2015

at 4:00 p.m.

at South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters,

911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to conduct the second reading of a proposed ordinance of the South Walton Fire District creating the adoption of the Florida Fire Prevention Code.

A copy of the Proposed Ordinance may be inspected at South Walton Fire District.

If a person decides to appeal any decision made by the South Walton Fire Districts Board of Fire Commissioners with respect to any matter considered at such meeting or hearing, will need a record of the proceedings and that for such purpose may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT FIREFIGHTERS

RETIREMENT SYSTEM

BOARD MEETINGS - 2015

2014-12-09,

Meeting Schedule 2015



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will hold regularly scheduled meetings on:
    MARCH 2, 2015 2:30 P.M.

    JUNE 1, 2015 2:30 P.M.

    AUGUST 31, 2015 2:30 P.M.

    NOVEMBER 30, 2015 2:30 P.M.
All meetings will be held at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach FL 32459 unless otherwise notified by posting a change of location.

Any person(s) who wish to be placed on the agenda must contact Nate Brown at nbrown@swfd.org within fifteen (15) days of any meeting and provide the name of the person who will be speaking and the subject to be addressed.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT FIREFIGHTERS

RETIREMENT SYSTEM NOTICE OF

SPECIAL MEETING

2014-12-03,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will hold a special meeting on
Thursday, December 11, 2014
12:00 p.m.

at South Walton Fire District
911 N. County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

The purpose of the meeting will be to address the following:
  • Minutes of the August 25, 2014 Meeting
  • Actuarial Valuation as of October 1, 2014
  • Summary Plan Description
For questions or further information, please email Nate Brown, Chairman at nbrown@swfd.org.

End



SWFD Offices Closed on December 24 and 25

2014-12-03,

Closed





End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
2015 BOARD MEETINGS

2014-12-03,

Fire Board Meeting Schedule



    JANUARY 12, 2015

    FEBRUARY 9, 2015

    MARCH 9, 2015

    APRIL 13, 2015

    MAY 11, 2015

    JUNE 8, 2015

    JULY 13, 2015

    AUGUST 10, 2015

    SEPTEMBER 14, 2015

    OCTOBER 12, 2015

    NOVEMBER 9, 2015

    DECEMBER 14, 2015

    All meetings are held at 4:00 p.m.
    911 N County Highway 393 / Station 3 Headquarters
    Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459


*Note: Persons who wish to be placed on the agenda must contact the Administrative Assistant within two days of any meeting and provide the name of the person who will be speaking and the subject to be addressed.

If a person decides to appeal any decision made by the South Walton Fire District's Board of Fire Commissioners with respect to any matter considered at such meeting or hearing, will need a record of the proceedings and that for such purpose may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.


End



SWFD Offices Closed on November 11

2014-11-05,

Closed





End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

AUDIT COMMITTEE MEETING

2014-09-12,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Audit Committee meeting on


Thursday, September 18, 2014
at 3:00 p.m.

SWFD Station 3/Headquarters
911 N County Highway 393
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459


The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the planning of the South Walton Fire Districts 2013/2014 audit with Kevin Bowyer of Warren Averett, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE
Executive Session

2014-08-18,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on:


Tuesday, August 19, 2014
2:00 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, Main Conference Room
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.


The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss labor negotiations.

For more information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE
2014/2015 BUDGET WORKSHOP

2014-08-12,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a workshop on


Wednesday, August 27, 2014
2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.


at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters,

911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.


The purpose of the workshop is to for Fire District Staff to present the 2014/2015 budget and discuss issues/cost saving measures.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE
Final Public Hearing of
Tentative Ad Valorem Taxes
and Budget 2014/2015

2014-08-12,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold the First Public Hearing on


Thursday, September 25, 2014 5:01 p.m.


at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters,

911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.


Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE
First Public Hearing of
Tentative Ad Valorem Taxes
and Budget 2014/2015

2014-08-12,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold the First Public Hearing on


Thursday, September 11, 2014 5:01 p.m.


at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters,

911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.


Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE
Executive Session

2014-08-12,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on:


Monday, August 11, 2014
2:00 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, Main Conference Room
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.


The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss labor negotiations.

For more information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298. .

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions.

End



NOTICE CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS SESSION UPDATED

2014-07-17,

Notice



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 on:


July 16, 2014 at 1 p.m.

July 22, 2014 at 9 a.m. - Cancelled -

August 6, 2014 at 9 a.m. - Cancelled -

August 12, 2014 at 9 a.m.

August 15, 2014 at 9 a.m.

August 21, 2014 at 9 a.m.


The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End





SWFD Offices will be Closed

2014-07-01,

Notice



SWFD Administrative Offices will be closed

Friday, July 4, 2014

End



NOTICE CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS SESSION

2014-07-01,

Notice



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 on:


July 16, 2014 at 1 p.m.

July 22, 2014 at 9 a.m.

August 6, 2014 at 9 a.m.


The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End





NOTICE CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS SESSION

2014-05-13,

Notice



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 on:

June 10, 2014 at 9 a.m.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE Executive Session

2014-04-24,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on:

Monday, May 12, 2014

2:30 p.m.


at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, Training Room

911 N County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss labor negotiations.

For more information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End





NOTICE CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS SESSION

2014-04-24,

Notice



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 on:

May 12, 2014 at 9 a.m.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End





Suspected Arson Fire in South Walton

2014-04-08,

Fire



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call early this morning at about 2:30 a.m. reporting a structure fire at 2275 Mack Bayou Road in Santa Rosa Beach, FL.

Within minutes of receiving the initial 9-1-1 call, SWFD crews arrived on scene and reported smoke and flames coming from the front porch side of the uninhabited 2,300 sq. ft. two story residential structure. Shortly after arrival, SWFD crews managed to extinguish the fire and contain the majority of the damage to the first floor.

The SWFD Fire Marshal/Investigator and the State of Florida Fire Marshal Detective were notified to determine cause and origin. During their joint investigation it was determined that arson appeared to be the cause of the fire. Several neighbors stated that this residence has been uninhabited for at least a year. As of this release, the fire is still under investigation.

SWFD initially responded to this incident with 2 Truck Companies, 1 Engine Company, 1 Squad, 2 Rescues and 1 District Chief.

According to the Florida State Fire Marshals Office report the property is currently valued at $350,000 and the fire/smoke damage was estimated to be $50,000. There were no injuries to report.

Anyone that may have information regarding this incident is urged to contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal South Walton Fire District at 850-267-1298. In addition, the Florida State Fire Marshals Office (FSFMO) is offering up to $5,000 to anyone with information that leads to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for this fire. To report an arson fire with the FSFMO please call 1-877-662-7766 or 1-877- NO ARSON

End





Driving Safety

2014-03-31,

Driving Safety



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT

Urges you to take the pledge and join the fight to end distracted driving. Save a life. Make the commitment today.

Distracted driving kills and injures thousands of people each year.

I pledge to:
  • Protect lives by never texting on the phone while driving.
  • Be a good passenger and speak out if the driver in my car is distracted.
  • Encourage my friends and family to not text and drive.
  • Always stay alert when driving.

CLICK HERE
to download the Safe Driving Pledge


Safe Driving Pledge

End





Vacant Fire Commissioner Seat 2

2014-03-17,

Commissioner Vacancy



South Walton Fire District is seeking qualified applicants to fill an interim position for Seat 2 on the Board of Fire Commissioners. Applicants shall reside in South Walton within boundaries of the Intracoastal Waterway to the North and the Walton/Bay County line to the East, then South to the Gulf of Mexico, then West to approximately County Highway 283. A qualified applicant must also be a registered voter in Walton County at the time of the application.

Each fire commissioner serves a term of four years and is eligible for re-election. The newly appointed Seat 2 Interim Board member would serve April 14, 2014 through November 13, 2014.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit a letter of interest along with a list of qualifications to the Board of Fire Commissioners, 911 N. County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459-5371. The deadline to apply is April 7, 2014


End





South Walton Fire District
Lifeguards Take to the Beach

2014-03-05,

2014 Lifeguard Season



South Walton Fire District (SWFD) lifeguards will report to their ten (10) tower locations this Saturday March 8, 2014 from 10a-6p. This is the 9th season that the Beach Safety and Education Program, a partnership between the SWFD and the South Walton Tourist Development Council (TDC), will be in place

New and returning lifeguards are completing their annual training academy this week. The 84 hour academy consists of medical, surf rescue techniques, beach and water surveillance techniques, strength and stamina conditioning, SWFD policies/procedures and communications. “With the current weather conditions, training at this time of year in the Gulf is critical and SWFD is proud of our new lifeguard team, who are committed to keeping our beaches and our community safe”, said Gary Wise, Beach Safety Director.

The SWFD would like to invite the members of our community to attend the Lifeguard Academy graduation ceremony this Friday March 7, 2014 at 3:30 pm at Ed Walline Park located at the intersection of CR 393 and CR 30A. For further information, please contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal at 850-267-1298.


End





REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
911 N. County Highway 393 Project

2014-03-01,

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS



The South Walton Fire District is accepting proposals from qualified firms for completing work at the 911 N. County Highway 393 Property within the guidelines of existing permits. The work to be completed includes, but is not limited to: Earthwork, paving, water retention, and landscaping. Firms qualifying under the project prequalification criteria will be invited to submit proposals for services. The Fire District will accept sealed proposals for professional services until 4:00 p.m. on March 26, 2014. All interested parties are invited to submit their sealed proposals to the following address:

Request for Proposal

South Walton Fire District
911 N County Highway 393
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

Copies of the proposal requirements may be obtained on our RFP Tab on this website, at the address above or by calling 850-267-1298. The South Walton Fire District shall be the sole judge of the proposals and whose decision will be final. South Walton Fire District reserves the right to award the contract to the party or parties submitting a satisfactory proposal which is in the best interest of all.


End





SWFD RECOGNIZES MEMBERS AT AWARDS CEREMONY

2014-02-12,

Awards



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) held its 7th Annual Awards Ceremony on February 8, 2013 at the Timothy Padgett Park Facility. Fire Chief Rick Talbert presided over the awards ceremony as several SWFD members were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in 2013 with over one-hundred SWFD members and family in attendance. Among some of the award recipients were: Fire Fighter of the Year-Sergeant, Chris Kidder. Robert Heighton Lifesaving Award- Lt. Eric Lang, Sgt. Charlee Lanier, FF/ Paramedic Kate Christenson, FF/ Paramedic Chris Powell, FF/ Paramedic Matt Cramer. Lifeguard of the Year- Nick Dorado. Rookie Lifeguard of the Year- Alex Winkler. Fire Chief Award- Gary Wise, Beach Safety Director. Communications Operator of the Year- Dave Swift.

Overall there were more than 50 awards presented. Congratulations to all of SWFD 2013 Award Recipients.


End





SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT FIREFIGHTERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM
MEETINGS - 2014

2014-01-15,

MEETING SCHEDULE - 2014



    MARCH 3, 2014 2:30 P.M.

    JUNE 2, 2014 2:30 P.M.

    AUGUST 25, 2014 2:30 P.M.

    DECEMBER 1, 2014 2:30 P.M.

    All meetings will be held at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach FL 32459 unless otherwise notified by posting a change of location.


*Note: Any person(s) who wish to be placed on the agenda must contact Nate Brown at nbrown@swfd.org within fifteen (15) days of any meeting and provide the name of the person who will be speaking and the subject to be addressed.


End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

BOARD MEETINGS - 2014

2013-12-03,

MEETING SCHEDULE - 2014



    JANUARY 13, 2014

    FEBRUARY 10, 2014

    MARCH 10, 2014

    APRIL 14, 2014

    MAY 12, 2014

    JUNE 9, 2014

    JULY 14, 2014

    AUGUST 11, 2014

    SEPTEMBER 8, 2014

    OCTOBER 13, 2014

    NOVEMBER 10, 2014

    DECEMBER 8, 2014

    All meetings are held at 4:00 p.m.
    911 N County Highway 393 / Station 3 Headquarters
    Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459


*Note: Persons who wish to be placed on the agenda must contact the Administrative Assistant within two days of any meeting and provide the name of the person who will be speaking and the subject to be addressed.

If a person decides to appeal any decision made by the South Walton Fire District's Board of Fire Commissioners with respect to any matter considered at such meeting or hearing, will need a record of the proceedings and that for such purpose may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.


End

SWFD Holiday Schedule

2013-12-23,

Schedule





End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

BOARD MEETINGS - 2014

2012-12-03,

MEETING SCHEDULE - 2014



    JANUARY 13, 2014

    FEBRUARY 10, 2014

    MARCH 10, 2014

    APRIL 14, 2014

    MAY 12, 2014

    JUNE 9, 2014

    JULY 14, 2014

    AUGUST 11, 2014

    SEPTEMBER 8, 2014

    OCTOBER 13, 2014

    NOVEMBER 10, 2014

    DECEMBER 8, 2014

    All meetings are held at 4:00 p.m.
    911 N County Highway 393 / Station 3 Headquarters
    Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459


*Note: Persons who wish to be placed on the agenda must contact the Administrative Assistant within two days of any meeting and provide the name of the person who will be speaking and the subject to be addressed.

If a person decides to appeal any decision made by the South Walton Fire District's Board of Fire Commissioners with respect to any matter considered at such meeting or hearing, will need a record of the proceedings and that for such purpose may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.


End



Angel Tree 2013

2013-10-31,

Angel Tree





End



"Change your Clocks - Change your Batteries!"

2013-10-30,

Safety Message



For 15 years, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) has participated in the International Association of Fire Chiefs' campaign "Change your Clock -Change your Battery", reminding citizens to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when they change their clocks on Sunday, November 3, 2013.

SWFD is so committed to this belief that the Fire District will install and replace batteries in smoke detectors for South Walton residents who are senior citizens, disabled, or families in need, at no charge. Remember, the life of a smoke detector is 10 years. If your detector is 10 years old or older, it should be replaced.

Some alarming facts:
  • Every year, approximately 3,000 people lose their lives in home fires, and most of those deaths are among the elderly, the disabled, the low income, and the very young.
  • Home fires account for four of every five fire-related deaths and three of every four fire-related injuries.
  • Many of these deaths may have been prevented if a working smoke detector was in place.
  • More than 90% of homes in the U.S. have smoke detectors, but 1/3 of those are estimated to have dead or missing batteries.
  • Remember - please set your clocks back one hour on Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 2:00 a.m.!
For more information about smoke detectors, fire safety and developing a home escape plan, contact Fire Marshal Sanchez at the South Walton Fire District, 911 N. CR 393 Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 at 850-267-1298

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

HR/EMPLOYEE BENEFITS COMMITTEE MEETING

2013-10-02,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an HR/Employee Benefits Committee meeting on Monday, October 7, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to review the SWFD By-laws.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD
OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE

Executive Session

2013-09-19,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on:

Thursday, September 26, 2013 9:00 a.m.
at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss labor negotiations.

For more information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD
OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE

AUDIT COMMITTEE MEETING

2013-09-17,

Meeting Notice



The The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Audit Committee meeting on

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, Training Room
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the planning of the South Walton Fire District's 2012/2013 audit with Kevin Bowyer of Warren Averett, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants

For more information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD
OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE

Executive Session

2013-09-13,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 2:00 p.m.


at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, Training Room
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss labor negotiations.

For more information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD
OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE

Executive Session

2013-08-28,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on:

Monday, September 9, 2013 2:30 p.m.


at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, Training Room
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss labor negotiations.

For more information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD
OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE

Final Public Hearing of Ad Valorem Taxes and Budget 2013/2014

2013-08-19,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold the Final Public Hearing on

Thursday, September 26, 2013
5:01 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters,
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD
OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE

First Public Hearing of
Tentative Ad Valorem Taxes
and Budget 2013/2014

2013-08-19,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold the First Public Hearing on

Thursday, September 12, 2013
5:01 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters,
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.


Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions.

End



Back to School Driver Awareness Program

2013-08-06,

Back to School



The school year begins for Walton County on Thursday, August 8th, and drivers will once again be encountering children commuting to school, some for their very first time. The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) would like to encourage motorists to be especially alert for children, particularly in and around school zones.

In an effort to raise driver awareness that children and school buses will once again be part of weekday traffic, the SWFD will assist by providing "visual reminders" at several school locations.
  • Eden's Landing off of Hwy 395 near (Bay Elementary School)
  • Hwy 98 Median near the entrance to the new Emerald Cost Middle School
  • South Walton High School off of Highway 331
  • 30-A on right away across Butler Elementary
The SWFD would also like to provide a few safe driving tips to assist motorists in keeping the roadways safe for our children this school year, as more drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists will resume sharing the road during this busy back-to-school season:
  • Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs that children could dart into the road.
  • Eliminate distractions. Taking your eyes off the road for two seconds doubles your chance of being involved in a crash. Avoid engaging in distracting behavior.
  • Plan ahead. Leave early for your destination and allow extra time for congestion. Modify your route to avoid school zones and traffic, if possible.
  • Drop children off on school property.
  • Remember, school zones are non-passing zones. Doing so is not only dangerous, but also against the law.
  • Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading students.
For further information, please contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal at SWFD Headquarters, 850-267-1298

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE
2013/2014 BUDGET WORKSHOP

2013-07-22,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a workshop on

Wednesday, August 21, 2013
2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters,
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the workshop is to for Fire District Staff to present the 2013/2014 budget and discuss issues/cost saving measures.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this workshop.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

HR/EMPLOYEE BENEFITS COMMITTEE MEETING

2013-07-22,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an HR/Employee Benefits Committee meeting on Monday, July 30, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to review the SWFD By-laws.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.

End



SWFD Lifeguards Protect Swimmers from Waterspout

2013-07-02,

Lifeguards



At approximately 12:40 pm this afternoon a waterspout was reported to have made landfall in Seagrove near the Santa Clara Beach Access. South Walton Fire District Lifeguards Brad Stewart and Joel Chapman were on duty at SWFD Lifeguard Tower 2 when rain began to move on shore. As the guards were removing their equipment from the beach a water spout was spotted approximately 700 feet from shore.

As the water spout began to rapidly make its way towards the shore, SWFD Lifeguard Chapman began directing patrons in his response area to seek shelter at the closest structure. At this time, SWFD Lifeguard Stewart witnessed a family who was attempting to move one of their own family members with a (physical disability) to a safe shelter. As he reached the group with beach wheel chair in hand, Stewart realized it was too late to make it to a safe shelter. Stewart ordered them all to lay face down in the sand as he lay across them. The waterspout, now turned tornado, was now on shore and passing directly over this group. A tent awning collapsed and skirted across Stewart's back however he did not sustain any injuries.

Despite the fact that the tornado ripped a 6 foot tall door off of the SWFD Lifeguard storage shed and other tents, umbrellas and other debris were blown across the beach , no injuries or other significant damage were reported. As a precaution, SWFD rescue units evaluated all persons involved and no one was transported for further medical evaluation.

As always SWFD urges all its residents, guests, visitors and tourists alike to always swim in guarded beaches. Pay close attention and always adhere to the beach flag warning system. Know that summer weather in Florida can change instantly, violently and without warning and most importantly, use sound judgment and know your swimming limitations.

If you have any questions, please contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal/PIO at ssanchez@swfd.org or 850-267-1298

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
NOTICE of Executive Session

2013-06-18,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on:

Monday, July 8, 2013
2:30 p.m.
at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, Training Room
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss labor negotiations.

For more information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
HR/EMPLOYEE BENEFITS COMMITTEE MEETING

2013-06-06,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an HR/Employee Benefits Committee meeting on Monday, June 17, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to review the SWFD By-laws.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.

End



Double Red Flag Conditions

2013-06-05,

Beach Safety Flags



Due to high surf and very strong rip currents, the Beaches of South Walton will be flying double red beach flags. These conditions are forecast to continue until Friday morning June 7th, 2013.

Double red beach flags indicate that the surf conditions are extremely hazardous and the water is CLOSED to the public. Entering the water during this time can result in injury or death.

South Walton Fire District Lifeguards will be constantly monitoring the conditions. We ask that you also continue to monitor the conditions and adhere to all the warnings.

For more information please contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal/PIO

End



Drowning in Miramar Beach area of South Walton

2013-06-05,

Drowning



At approximately 9:25 a.m. this morning, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call reporting an unconscious person had been pulled from the surf in the area across from the Surfside Condominiums in Miramar Beach.

According to responders a 45 year old male had entered the water in an unguarded beach area and was apparently caught in a "rip current". After attempting to swim out of the current, the victim (unknown name at this time) was taken under water. Nearby beach vendors witnessed this and retrieved the swimmer. Once on shore, the victim was immediately attended to by SWFD Paramedics who were successful in providing CPR and resuscitating him. He was transported by SWFD to the hospital where his condition has been listed as critical but stable.

At the time of the incident, the beach warning flags were Red indicating a High Hazard, High surf and/or currents. Currently the beach flags have been changed in South Walton to Double Red indicating that the water is closed to the public.

The SWFD urges all beachgoers to know their swimming capabilities, understand and heed the beach safety warning flags, the direction of lifeguards, and swim in front of a lifeguard tower. The location of this incident was over a mile away from the nearest SWFD Lifeguard Tower.

For more information please contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal/PIO

End



Request For Proposals - Computer Aided Dispatch equipment

2013-06-04,

Notice of RFP



South Walton Fire District is seeking bids for an enterprise class, Computer Aided Dispatch Console System and Equipment; Automated Vehicle Locator Equipment/Software and Mobile Dispatch Terminal Software and Connectivity through a secure network appliance.

Proposals are due by, July 1, 2013 at 3 p.m.

Click HERE to view the RFP.

End



Request For Proposals - Dispatch Radio Consoles

2013-06-04,

Notice of RFP



South Walton Fire District is seeking bids for an enterprise class, Dispatch Radio Console System and Equipment for its 9-1-1 emergency call Center. The system must be capable of integrating no fewer than (10) ten radio frequencies, have the capability to patch radios together as well as identify and configure the radio Logical Identification (LID) information for the existing 800 Mhz radio system.

Proposals are due by, July 1, 2013 at 3 p.m.

Click HERE to view the RFP.

End



SWFD Recognizes National
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week

2013-05-20,

EMS Week



In every corner of our country, emergency medical services (EMS) personnel are hard at work delivering hope and care to Americans in dire circumstances. In the face of chaos and tragedy, their steady hands provide vital, life-saving services, and their calm under pressure delivers comfort to neighbors in need. During this 40th Annual National Emergency Medical Services Week May 19th- May 25th we pause to offer our gratitude to these remarkable men and women, whose dedication is fundamental to our society's well-being.

The theme of this year's National EMS Week is "One Mission, One Team" This was chosen to recognize the commitment that emergency medical personnel make to the communities they serve and to honor the dedication of those men and women who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine's "front line.

"We recognize the tremendous role that our SWFD personnel make to improve health in our community. Recently the State of Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) conducted a random, unannounced inspection of our EMS Operations. The results were "Excellence in all phases of the inspection". We are extremely proud of our men and women that make this possible", said Operations Chief Ryan Crawford.

"SWFD personnel are committed to delivering emergency medical care in the community. We strive for seamless care, from the field to the hospital emergency department or trauma center. Our commitment to ensuring that patients receive the best medical care available, anytime and anywhere, is instrumental to advancing the health, safety, and well-being of our community. SWFD pledges to maintain this high level of Prompt, Competent, Caring Response in Time of Need", said Fire Chief Rick Talbert.

End



Impact Fee Resolution NOTICE

2013-05-07,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners has adopted Resolution 13-03 regarding the SWFD Impact Fee Collection Rates. SWFD Resolution 13-03: A RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT, AMENDING IMPACT FEES AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

The effective date will be August 5, 2013.

Click HERE to view the adopted resolution.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
HR/EMPLOYEE BENEFITS COMMITTEE MEETING

2013-04-25,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an HR/Employee Benefits Committee meeting on Monday, May 6, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to review the SWFD By-laws.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.

End



South Walton Fire District Receives Federal Grant

2013-04-15,

Federal Grant



In an official letter from both Congressman Jeff Miller's Office and from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) was recently notified that they will be receiving the FY 2012 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) totaling $324,503.

In addition, SWFD qualifies under the "rural community" criteria in the grant submittal process and is only required to match 5% of the total award which equated to $16,000. It was originally thought that SWFD's matching portion would be $32,000 or 10%.

Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

The grant award will be used to accomplish a thorough upgrade of the Fire District's Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system and will provide other technological improvements to SWFD's E-911 communications systems. These upgrades will vastly improve efficiency and safety in the field and in our E-911 communications center. The communication center is a vital, critical link between the public and fire/rescue emergency response personnel who make the difference between life and death in many instances.

SWFD anticipates receiving these funds by the end of April 2013. If you would like more information regarding this grant approval, please contact Marc Anderson, Asst. Chief or Lynnette Doyal 9-1-1 Communications Director at 850-267-1298.

End



National Public Safety Telecommunications Week

2013-04-15,

Week



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) will honor the men and women who serve as public safety dispatchers and call takers during National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, April 14-20, 2013.

Introduced to Congress by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International in 1991, National Public Safety Telecommunications Week is the second week of April each year. SWFD is dedicating this week to our Public Safety Tele-Communicators who aid in providing 9-1-1 emergency assistance to the citizens and visitors of South Walton.

In South Walton and across the country, in times of intense personal crisis or community-wide disasters, the primary access point for those seeking fire and EMS emergency assistance is 9-1-1. Last year, the SWFD Communications Center received nearly 15,000 calls for service.

"Public Safety Tele-Communicators are the indispensable link between the public and fire/rescue emergency response personnel who make the difference between life and death in many instances. These behind the scenes personnel are the first point of contact for persons seeking immediate relief during emergency and non-emergency situations," said Lynnette Doyal Communications Director.

This week we are honoring our dispatch and call-taking personnel with a special thank you for all the hard, dedicated work they do each day, all year round. For further information or questions, please contact Marc Anderson, Assistant Chief or visit our website at www.swfd.org.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
HR/EMPLOYEE BENEFITS COMMITTEE MEETING

2013-03-18,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an HR/Employee Benefits Committee meeting on Monday, April 1, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to review the SWFD By-laws .

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.

End



Suspected Arsonist Arrested in South Walton

2013-02-09,

Arrest



The State Fire Marshal's Office along with the WCSO arrested a suspect in connection to an arson that occurred on January 7, 2013 on San Juan Avenue in Seagrove. Angus Bishop Anderson, 19, of DeFuniak Springs, was arrested and charged on February 8, 2013.

After authorities questioned Anderson, he admitted to setting the fire. The recent break up with the property owner's daughter appeared to be Anderson's motive for the fire.

Anderson was transported and booked into the Walton County Department of Corrections. He was charged with Arson, Burglary, Grand Theft and Criminal Mischief.

End



SWFD Polar Bear Splash and Paddle Board Dash Cancelled

2012-12-31,

Cancellation



Due to the high probability of strong rip currents forecast for early tomorrow morning the beach flags for South Walton's beaches will be changed to red and purple this afternoon. Unfortunately this will require the cancelling of tomorrow's SWFD Polar Bear Splash and Paddle Board Dash at Ed Walline Beach Access.

We apologize for any inconvenience. We are greatly disappointed in our decision. However, as a South Walton beach safety advocate, we always strive to set good examples by following our own safety rules. Regardless of the time of day, the year, the temperature or event, no one should enter the gulf during red flag conditions. Remember even "knee deep is too deep". Your safety is our priority. Thank you for your understanding. We hope to see you next year. Have a Safe and Happy 2013.

Rip current risk: High a high risk of rip currents means that wind, wave and tidal conditions all support the development of strong and dangerous rip currents. Lake washouts and soft edges of sand bars can also add to rip current development. Rip currents have the potential to form very quickly at any location across the beaches of South Walton. Deep channels between the sand bars are where the water brought in from the wave action funnels back out. Strong rip currents can take even the strongest swimmers away from shore. Please pay attention to the beach flags, if you are unsure whether rip currents are present, stay on the shore.

End



SWFD Emergency Vehicle Technician
Receives Award

2012-12-28,

Florida EVT of the Year



South Walton Fire District is proud to announce that our Emergency Vehicle Technician, Joe Murzynsky has been selected Florida's Emergency Vehicle Technician of the Year for 2012.

This award honors a technician whose primary job responsibility is the maintenance and repair of emergency apparatus and related equipment. In addition it also acknowledges someone who has demonstrated independent initiative in the areas of quality assurance and training, and has demonstrated support, involvement and dedication to their department, community and profession. Selection is made by the Florida Association of Emergency Vehicle Technicians in conjunction with the Florida Fire Chiefs Association. This prestigious award includes a plaque to the award recipient, $500 from Hoseline, Inc. to the recipient, and recognition in the monthly Florida Fire Service publication. Joe will be receiving his award at the Florida Fire Chiefs Association annual Fire Rescue East Conference and Trade show scheduled for January 2013.

SWFD would like to thank Joe for being a vital member of our team and for always keeping our emergency vehicle fleet on the road and ready to respond. Congratulations!

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT FIREFIGHTERS'
RETIREMENT SYSTEM PENSION BOARD
MEETING ATTENDANCE

2012-12-27,

NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING



The South Walton Fire District Firefighters' Retirement System Pension Board will be attending the regularly scheduled meeting of the South Walton Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners on Monday, January 7, 2013 at 4:00 p.m. for the purpose of updating the Board of Fire Commissioners on retirement plan funds and investments.

For questions, please call 850-267-1298.

End



REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
District Attorney

2012-12-17,

Notice of RFP



The South Walton Fire District is requesting proposals from law firms to represent the South Walton Fire District. The legal representation shall include, but not be limited to, representing the District in all contracts, any District functions, labor issues, review of any District resolutions or ordinances and, upon request, to be present at any meeting that may require legal representation.

Interested firms should submit a written summary of their qualifications to perform Special District engagements in the State of Florida, including background of the firm, types of specific recent governmental legal services of the firm, resumes of individual attorneys and other staff to be utilized as well as appropriate client references. Deadline for submissions is Thursday, January 10, 2013 at 4:30 p.m.

Additional information for submittal requirements may be obtained from the South Walton Fire District at 911 N. County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL. (850) 267-1298.

The South Walton Fire District reserves the right to waive informalities in any proposal, to make award(s) by individual item, group of items, all, or none, or a combination thereof, to reject any and all proposals, or waive any minor irregularity or technicality in proposals received that in its judgment will be in the best interest of the South Walton Fire District.

FAILURE TO FILE A PROTEST WITHIN THE TIME PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 120.53(5), FLORIDA STATUTES SHALL CONSTITUTE A WAIVER OF PROCEEDINGS UNDER CHAPTER 120, FLORIDA STATUTES.

Note: All proposals received must be marked on the outside of the sealed envelope "REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL - FIRE DISTRICT ATTORNEY". Any failure to mark such on the sealed proposal envelope as set forth herein may result in the proposal not being considered. Sealed proposals will be opened in the meeting room on Friday, January 11, 2013 at Station 3 / Headquarters, 911 N. County Highway 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

Address all proposals to: South Walton Fire District Attn: Request for Proposal - Fire District Attorney 911 N. County Highway 393 Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
2013 BOARD MEETINGS

2012-12-15,

2013 Fire Board Meetings



JANUARY 7, 2013

FEBRUARY 4, 2013

MARCH 4, 2013

APRIL 1, 2013

MAY 6, 2013

JUNE 3, 2013

JULY 8, 2013

AUGUST 5, 2013

SEPTEMBER 9, 2013

OCTOBER 7, 2013

NOVEMBER 4, 2013

DECEMBER 2, 2013

All meetings are held at 4:00 p.m.
911 N County Highway 393 - Station 3 Headquarters
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

*Note: Persons who wish to be placed on the agenda must contact the Administrative Assistant within two days of any meeting and provide the name of the person who will be speaking and the subject to be addressed.

If a person decides to appeal any decision made by the South Walton Fire District's Board of Fire Commissioners with respect to any matter considered at such meeting or hearing, he or she will need a record of the proceedings and that, for such purpose, may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
FIREFIGHTERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM
NOTICE
QUARTERLY MEETING

2012-11-20,

Notice of Meeting



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will hold a regularly scheduled meeting on

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 6:30 p.m.
at South Walton Fire District
911 N. County Road 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

For questions or further information, please email Nate Brown, Chairman at nbrown@swfd.org.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
AUDIT COMMITTEE MEETING

2012-11-14,

Notice of Meeting



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Audit Committee meeting on

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 9:00 a.m.
SWFD Station 3/Headquarters
911 N County Highway 393
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459


The purpose of the meeting will be to review the end of Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Audit provided by Warren Averett O'Sullivan Creel, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.

End



SWFD's Home For The Holidays Program

2012-11-08,

Holidays



South Walton Fire District (SWFD) is offering a "Home for the Holidays" program. This program is designed to allow patients in skilled nursing and adult living facilities to go home and be with family members for holiday dinner. Patients must be self-supporting while at the residence, and be left in the care of a responsible family member.

The South Walton Fire District will be offering free transportation on a space available basis to local residents who would otherwise be unable to come home for the holiday celebrations. The "Home for the Holidays" program will provide transportation on Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day and/or Christmas Eve or Christmas Day only, from the hours of 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. All requests for Thanksgiving transportation must be received by November 19, 2012 and all Christmas Holiday transportation request must be received by December 21, 2012.

South Walton Fire District will provide free roundtrip transportation originating in "South Walton" and ending in Walton County or within the Destin City limits. "The Home for the Holidays program is a way the Fire District can provide good cheer to local families, and we look forward to providing this special service to our community," stated Ryan Crawford, Operations Chief.

If you need additional information or would like to schedule transportation, please call our Communications Center at 850-267-0167.

End



SWFD Elf Ride 2012

2012-11-05,

Elf Ride





End



ANGEL TREE 2012

2012-11-05,

Angel Tree





End



Fire Prevention Week - October 7 - 13, 2012

2012-10-08,

FIRE PREVENTION WEEK



In an effort to better educate communities throughout the U.S. about fire safety recommendations, the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is promoting "Have 2 Ways Out" as the theme for this year's Fire Prevention Week campaign, October 7-13, which South Walton Fire District (SWFD) is supporting locally. NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for 89 years.

SWFD will be concentrating their efforts on promoting fire safety and prevention throughout the many schools day cares and businesses in South Walton

SWFD would like to remind our citizens to please contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal for any fire safety questions or concerns.

To contact Fire Marshal Sanchez, please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT FIREFIGHTERS
RETIREMENT SYSTEM
NOTICE

2012-09-24,

PENSION BOARD SPECIAL MEETING



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will hold a special meeting on

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
2:30 p.m.

at South Walton Fire District
911 N. County Road 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

The purpose of the meeting will be to address the following:
  • Fiduciary Liability Insurance
  • Individual Retirement Statements
  • Buybacks Procedures
  • Drop Program Procedures
For questions or further information, please email Nate Brown, Chairman at nbrown@swfd.org.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
PUBLIC HEARING

2012-08-02,

NOTICE OF FINAL PUBLIC HEARING



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold the Final Public Hearing of Tentative Ad Valorem Taxes and Budget 2012/2013 on

Thursday, September 27, 2012
5:01 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters,
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
PUBLIC HEARING

2012-08-02,

NOTICE OF FIRST PUBLIC HEARING



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold the First Public Hearing of Tentative Ad Valorem Taxes and Budget 2012/2013 on

Thursday, September 13, 2012
5:01 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters,
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
BUDGET WORKSHOP

2012-08-01,

2012/2013 Budget Workshop



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a workshop on

Wednesday, August 15, 2012
2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters,
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the workshop is to for Fire District Staff to present the 2012/2013 budget and discuss issues/cost saving measures.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this workshop.

End



SWFD Experiences a busy day due to weather

2012-07-31,

FIRES



The South Walton Fire District experienced an extremely busy day on July 31, 2012, due to the weather. A series of strong thunderstorms passed through the South Walton area this morning causing a high volume of calls with two structure fires related to lightning strikes.

The first structure fire at 117 Gulf Shore Drive in Santa Rosa Beach came in at 09:45. SWFD crews arrived to find that the duplex home experienced a lightning strike to the roof area. Fire crews gained access to the attic area and extinguished the fire. The building experienced moderate damage and there were no injuries.

While crews were on this fire, another structure fire response was sent to 80 E. St Lucia Lane in Santa Rosa Beach. The SWFD arrived to find an unoccupied, beach house with smoke coming from the roof and chimney area. Fire crews gained access to the house and extinguished the fire. The home suffered significant fire damage, but crews were able to save many of the families valuables. Fire crews are still on scene at the time of this media release.

There were no civilian injuries, however, two firefighters suffered minor injuries

SWFD received the assistance from Destin Fire Control District, Freeport Fire Department, Walton County Fire Rescue, and Panama City Beach Fire Department in bringing these incidents under control.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
SPECIAL MEETING

2012-07-10,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a Special Meeting meeting on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the tentative millage for the upcoming TRIM Notice.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.

End



SWFD Lifeguard Tower Stolen

2012-05-23,

Lifeguard Tower



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) filed a report of a stolen lifeguard tower with the Walton County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) this morning. When SWFD lifeguards reported to their post for duty (at Ed Walline Beach Access) they discovered the lifeguard tower was missing.

The WCSO was immediately notified and is currently investigating this as a felony crime. The lifeguard tower, which is approximately 6 ft wide at the base, 8 foot in height and is constructed of aluminum, was apparently stolen sometime between the lifeguards going off duty at 6:00 p.m. last night and 9:00 a.m. this morning.

"This theft affects the thousands of residents, guests and visitors that come to this beach location. People expect to see SWFD lifeguards staffing those towers and it provides a sense of security to everyone knowing they are there protecting the beach, "said Gary Wise SWFD Beach Safety Director.

SWFD lifeguards will still be on duty at all of our lifeguard stations. However the lifeguards assigned to the Ed Walline area will not have the advantage of casting their protective eye across the beach from the height of a tower. Instead they will have to cover their response area from ground level until a replacement can be constructed.

Anyone with information regarding this stolen tower is urged to notify the WCSO at (850) 267-200 or (850) 892-8111. For additional information please contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal or Gary Wise, Beach Safety Director at (850) 267-1298

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
NOTICE of Executive Session

2012-05-22,

NOTICE



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on:

Monday, June 4, 2012

2:00 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, Conference Room
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss labor negotiations.

For information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



South Walton Fire District Junior Lifeguard Program

2012-05-04,

JR Lifeguards



The South Walton Fire District's (SWFD) Beach Safety Division is proud to announce the 2012 Junior Lifeguard Program. For the 5th consecutive year the SWFD Junior Lifeguard Program will be under the supervision of Gary Wise, South Walton Fire District Beach Safety Director assisted by the South Walton Fire District Professional Lifeguards.

The five week program will begin Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 through Thursday, July 19th, 2012. The program activities will be held, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week with 9 -11 year olds year participating from 9am-11:45am and 12-15 year olds starting at 12:15-3:00pm. Qualifying boys and girls ages (9-15) will be instructed in many aspects of beach and water safety and environmental topics

Swim tryouts will be held at 3:30pm on Friday, May 18th and at 9:00 am on Saturday May 19th. Both tryouts will be held at Ed Walline Park located at the south end of CR 393 in Santa Rosa Beach.

Registration is limited to the first 60 applicants who meet the swimming requirements and have submitted a completed registration form. Cost for this year's program is $140 per child, $125 per each sibling

For more information on the Junior Lifeguard Program or to receive a registration/waiver form, please contact Gary Wise, Beach Safety Director at 850-267-1298 or gwise@swfd.org

End



DONATIONS FOR DANNY

2012-04-18,

DONATIONS



On Saturday April 14th, a member of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) was seriously injured during an off duty water incident. Firefighter/Paramedic Danny Margagliano suffered a severe neck/spinal injury when he dove into shallow water.

Margagliano was flown to Sacred Heart in Pensacola where he continues to be monitored in the ICU. Early signs of paralysis have the Margagliano family, friends and co-workers searching for ways to assist with the ever mounting medical bills. Although it is still too early to determine whether permanent paralysis will set in, it is not too early to start with the fundraising.

In a collaborative effort between the SWFD and the South Walton Professional Fire Fighters Association (SWPFFA Local 3516) a website has been created to provide financial assistance to the Margagliano Family.

"As professional firefighters, we prepare for the worst and hope for the best. That's what we had in mind when we created this website," said SWFPPA President Henry Apfelbach. "Any way we can alleviate some of the financial stress that Danny and his family are currently experiencing is what we want to accomplish," said Apfelbach.

"Firefighters instinctively have the passion and desire to help, it's the reason they make firefighting a career. As soon as word spread that one of our own was injured, the outpour of internal support was overwhelming. SWFD has some of the most compassionate firefighters in NW Florida, they are phenomenal," said Rick Talbert, SWFD Fire Chief.

If you would like to assist the Danny Margagliano Family please visit http://donations4dannym.blogspot.com

End



Stand Up Paddle Board Awareness

2012-04-18,

S.U.P Awareness

Did you know that Stand up paddle boarding has become the fastest growing water sport worldwide? Here in South Walton we have many standup paddle boarders ranging in skill level from first timers to experienced national caliber racers. Even these skilled paddle boarders follow the United States Coast Guard (USCG) requirements for this water sport. The USCG has written two important documents regarding safety for standup paddleboard that should always be strictly adhered to.

The first document written in 2008 deemed that all standup paddleboards would be classified as vessels. This classification would require the use of a personal flotation device (PFD), a whistle and lights if this "vessel" was used after sun down. This document was amended in 2011. The language stated if a paddle board was used within a designated "swimming, surfing or bathing area, it would not deem the paddle board to be a vessel per USCG. This change seemed very vague as there was not a clear delineation of where a "swimming, surfing or bathing area" was.

As a community leader in safety, South Walton Fire District (SWFD) highly recommends that ALL standup paddlers properly use a personal flotation device (PFD) as well as leash when surfing or paddle boarding in the gulf. It is also recommended that all vendors who rent standup paddle boards encourage the proper use of a leash to all its customers anytime they enter the water.

It is important to note that paddlers who venture outside the "swimming, surfing or bathing area" must comply with federal Navigation Rules. More information regarding water safety and water safety requirements can be found at www.uscgboating.org. Our lifeguards and emergency response personnel have responded to several incidents of persons that have fallen from a paddle board with no leash or flotation necessitating a rescue situation that can be corrected with awareness.

Stand up paddle boarding is a great way to enjoy South Walton's scenic dune lakes and gulf waters. Weather conditions can change quickly and dehydration can occur within a short period of time from strenuous exercise. When venturing out into our open waters please use common sense and seek the advice of a qualified instructor if you are unsure of your abilities or knowledge.

For more information contact Gary Wise, SWFD Beach Safety Director at 850-267-1298 or by email at gwise@swfd.org.

End



National Public Safety Telecommunications Week

2012-04-10,

NTW

The South Walton Fire District will honor the men and women who serve as public safety dispatchers and call takers during National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, April 9-13, 2012.

In South Walton and across the country in times of intense personal crisis or community-wide disasters, the primary access point for those seeking fire and EMS emergency assistance is 9-1-1. The SWFD communication operators, who receive these calls, provide the reassuring voice on the other side of the phone and the first point of contact for persons seeking immediate relief during an emergency.

Introduced to Congress by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International in 1991, National Public Safety Telecommunications Week is the second week of April each year. This week is dedicated to public safety telecommunicators who aid in providing 9-1-1 emergency assistance to the citizens and visitors of South Walton.

"Every day, many members and visitors to our community rely on the expertise and commitment of the men and women who staff our communication center." said Marc Anderson, Assistant Chief. In addition to answering emergency calls, most operators also field questions relating to all types of complaints, all the while juggling priorities to serve the public in the best and fastest way possible. These behind the scenes personnel are the indispensable link between the public and fire/rescue emergency response personnel who make the difference between life and death in many instances.

This week we are honoring our communications personnel with a special "thank you" for all the hard, dedicated work they do each day, all year round.

Over all for the month of March, the SWFD Communications Center received 1, 054 calls for service.

For more information about SWFD Communications or National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal at 267-1298

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING

2012-04-10,

Notice

SPECIAL MEETING

Monday, April 16, 2012

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters,

911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will meet on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the procurement of services of Mr. Jerry Copeland and EMCS, Inc. for human resource and employee relations.

End



AED Saves Half/Marathoner's Life

2012-04-03,

AED



At the South Walton Fire District's monthly Fire Commission board meeting Monday afternoon, Fire Chief Rick Talbert presented Walton County Sheriff Deputy Jason Hall and Florida Department Law Enforcement agent Mike Duffey with Emergency Services Lifesaving Awards for their role in saving the life of a gentlemen that experienced sudden cardiac arrest at this year's Seaside Half Marathon.

During the race, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) responded to a 911 request for a person experiencing cardiac arrest. Upon arrival, SWFD members found WCSO Deputy Jason Hall along with three other bystanders utilizing the deputy's AED and performing CPR on the patient.

The use of the AED along with CPR proved to be a successful combination as the patient had regained an organized, life sustaining heart rhythm and pulse and was conscious prior to being transported to Sacred Heart Hospital by SWFD personnel. Chief Talbert noted during the presentation that the gentleman received emergency surgery shortly after the event and he is at home recovering.

Through a grant, the SWFD was able to purchase fifty five (55) AED's in 2004. The AED's were distributed throughout various locations within the South Walton Community. In addition, they were distributed / installed inside of WCSO patrol vehicles. Not only did WCSO receive these AED's (free of charge) but they received the initial hands on training through the SWFD.

"Interagency partnerships (such as this AED program) do save lives, as was clearly demonstrated on this day. We are happy that we were able to provide the AED's and the training to WCSO and we hope to continue to partner with them in any way that will directly benefit the communities and the people we both serve," said SWFD Fire Chief Rick Talbert.

The South Walton Fire District provides training in CPR/AED and First Aid. If you or your group would like to make arrangements for a class or if you just wish to receive more information, please contact the SWFD at (850) 267-1298 or visit our website at www.swfd.org.

Remember, the chances of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest are only about 10% without immediate care; with the proper training, you can be the one that makes the difference between life and death.


End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT FIREFIGHTERS
RETIREMENT SYSTEM NOTICE
PENSION BOARD SPECIAL MEETING

2012-03-21,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will hold a special meeting on

Tuesday, March 27, 2012
9:00 a.m.

at South Walton Fire District
911 N. County Road 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

The purpose of the meeting will be to address the following:
  • Certify Tim Parker's election to the Board
  • Approve Salem Trust quarterly allotment
  • Board positions
  • Public records request
For questions or further information, please email Nate Brown, Chairman at nbrown@swfd.org.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
HR/EMPLOYEE BENEFITS COMMITTEE MEETING

2012-03-20,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an HR/Employee Benefits Committee meeting on Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss organizational matters.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.

End



South Walton Fire District Lifeguards Take to the Beach

2012-03-09,

Lifeguards



South Walton Fire District (SWFD) lifeguards will report to their towers at eight beach access points this Saturday March 10, 2012. The Beach Safety and Education Program, a partnership between the SWFD and the South Walton Tourist Development Council (TDC), will began its 7th season as new and returning lifeguards report for duty.

The life guards are completing their annual training academy, which lasts 80 hours and consists of medical training, surf rescue techniques, communications, beach and water surveillance techniques as well as strength and stamina conditioning. "Despite unseasonable warm waters, training at this time of year in the Gulf is still challenging and SWFD is proud of our new lifeguard team, who are committed to keeping our beaches and our community safe", said Gary Wise, Beach Safety Director.

The SWFD would like to invite the members of our community to attend the Lifeguard Academy graduation ceremony this Friday March 9, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. at Ed Walline Park located at the intersection of CR 393 and CR 30A.

For further information, please contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal at 850-267-129

End



Change your Clocks / Change your Batteries!

2012-03-06,

Smoke Detector Safety



For 14 years, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) has participated in the International Association of Fire Chiefs' campaign "Change your Clock -Change your Battery", reminding citizens to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when they change their clocks this Sunday, March 11, 2012.

SWFD is so committed to this belief that the Fire District will install and replace batteries in smoke detectors for South Walton residents who are senior citizens, disabled, or families in need, at no charge. Remember, the life of a smoke detector is 10 years. If your detector is 10 years old or older, it should be replaced.

Some alarming facts:

  • Every year, approximately 3,000 people lose their lives in home fires, and most of those deaths are among the elderly, the disabled, the low income, and the very young.
  • More than 90% of homes in the U.S. have smoke detectors, but 1/3 are estimated to have dead or missing batteries.
  • Remember - please set your clocks forward one hour on Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 2:00 a.m.!


For more information about smoke detectors, fire safety and developing a home escape plan, contact Fire Marshal Sanchez at the South Walton Fire District, 911 N. CR 393 Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 at 850-267-1298

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT

NOTICE
CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS SESSION

2012-02-27,

Notice



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD), members of the SWFD Board of Fire Commissioners and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 on the following date:

March 8, 2012
1:30 p.m.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE
Executive Session

2012-02-27,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on:

Monday, March 5, 2012
3:00 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, Conference Room
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.


The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss labor negotiations.

For information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



Structure Fire in Uptown Grayton

2012-02-21,

Structure Fire



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call at 5:23 A.M. this morning reporting a structure fire. SWFD crews from Station 2 arrived within minutes of the initial call at 50-1 Uptown Grayton Circle, Little Italy Restaurant.

Upon arrival SWFD crews encountered a single story commercial restaurant with heavy fire involvement. Adjacent to the restaurant was a two story structure that also sustained fire damage. Despite the separate fires, SWFD crews were still able to knock down the flames and save the majority of the structures involved.

An additional unit (in close proximity) only sustained smoke damages. No one was present at any of the four units involved and no one was injured during this fire. SWFD crews had the fires under control within 35 minutes of the first arriving unit.

Investigators with the SWFD and the State of Florida Fire Marshal's Office were not able to complete the investigation due to the unstable condition of the restaurant roof. Once the roof is secured, the investigation will continue and a cause and origin should be determined.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

HR/EMPLOYEE BENEFITS COMMITTEE MEETING

2012-02-01,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an HR/Employee Benefits Committee meeting on Monday, February 6, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss organizational matters.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

HR/EMPLOYEE BENEFITS COMMITTEE MEETING

2012-01-17,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an HR/Employee Benefits Committee meeting on Monday, January 30, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss organizational matters.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.

End



Pension Board Appointee

2012-01-13,

Pension Board



The South Walton Fire District's Board of Fire Commissioners is seeking interested residents and business professional who reside in South Walton to participate on the Firefighter's Pension Board as a South Walton Fire District Board Appointee. Although it is not required, ideal candidates would be experienced in defined benefit retirements systems, financial statements as well as investment portfolios and processes.

The Firefighter's Pension Board meets quarterly at the South Walton Fire District Headquarters in Santa Rosa Beach.. This year's dates are:

FEBRUARY 27, 2012 2:30 P.M.

JUNE 4, 2012 2:30 P.M.

AUGUST 27, 2012 2:30 P.M.

DECEMBER 3, 2012 2:30 P.M.

Any person wishing to participate and serve in this capacity is encouraged to submit a letter of intent including a personal experience overview to:

South Walton Fire District's Board of Fire Commissioners Pension Appointee, 911 CR 393 N, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

End



Volunteering in 2012

2012-01-13,

Volunteers



It feels like 2011 went by in the blink of an eye and it is resolution time again! What is your New Year's resolution?

As you prepare for the New Year, why not consider adding community service to your list? Sharing your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expands your social network and improves your skills.

The South Walton Fire District is actively pursuing dedicated individuals who wish to be a part of our mission and vision. As with our career recruitment, the South Walton Fire District accepts applicants that are committed to the wellbeing of our community as part of our volunteer staff.

Our volunteers share a sense of pride in the service they provide to our community. Some volunteers work a few hours a week, while others serve a few days a week. Special skills are nice, but not required to be a volunteer -- just a willing heart and a warm smile!

If you would like more information about volunteering at South Walton Fire District, please call Marc Anderson, Assistant Chief, or by email at manderson@swfd.org .

End



SWFD ANGEL TREE THANK YOU!

2011-12-21,

2011 Angel Tree



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) would like to thank the members of our community for making the 10th year of our SWFD/Caring and Sharing of Walton County Angel Tree a heartwarming success.

Even in tough economic times, citizens, visitors, local groups and organizations worked together to ensure that all 300 angels were adopted. We were concerned that the 300 names would not all be taken, especially with the financial hardships some people were faced with this year. said Robbie Lund, SWFD Angel Tree Coordinator.

In typical South Walton fashion, the community rose to the occasion and now each angel will have something to open on Christmas Day. The citizens in South Walton have such a giving spirit. The generosity displayed with the Angel Tree Program is proof of that spirit. I’m honored to call this community my home, said Rick Talbert, Fire Chief.

The SWFD would like to wish everyone a peaceful and safe holiday season.

End



ELF RIDE A SUCCESS

2011-12-21,

2011 Elf Ride



The The South Walton Fire District’s (SWFD) 4th Annual Elf Ride held on Dec. 4, 2011 proved to be a great success. Elves of all ages met at the Seaside Post Office at around and rode their bikes or walked to the SWFD’s Water Color Station 2 located at 2109 CR 395 South, in Seagrove.

An unwrapped toy was the only entry fee requirement for this 1.5 mile bike/walk charity event. All the toys collected directly benefitted the 300 names on the SWFD Angel Tree. Elf Ride creator Luke Thompson (age 14) was once again the Grand Elf for the event. Luke created this event at age 10. This event keeps getting bigger and bigger every year. said Luke.

Fire station tours, music, pictures with Santa and refreshments from local businesses were provided for all in attendance. Gift certificates from Beef O Bradys were given to the best costume, best decorated bike and youngest elf that completed the event (2 yrs old).

The South Walton Fire District would like to thank all the participants that helped make this event a success. SWFD would also like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
AUDIT COMMITTEE MEETING

2011-12-21,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Audit Committee meeting on Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to review the end of Fiscal Year 2010-2011 Audit provided by O'Sullivan Creel, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.



End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
HR/EMPLOYEE BENEFITS COMMITTEE MEETING

2011-12-21,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an HR/Employee Benefits Committee meeting on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss organizational matters.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.



End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

BOARD MEETINGS - 2012

2011-12-07,

MEETING SCHEDULE - 2012





    JANUARY 9, 2012

    FEBRUARY 6, 2012

    MARCH 5, 2012

    APRIL 2, 2012

    MAY 7, 2012

    JUNE 4, 2012

    JULY 2, 2012

    AUGUST 6, 2012

    SEPTEMBER 10, 2012

    OCTOBER 1, 2012

    NOVEMBER 5, 2012

    DECEMBER 3, 2012

    All meetings are held at 4:00 p.m.
    911 N CR 393 / Station 3 Headquarters
    Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459


*Note: Persons who wish to be placed on the agenda must contact the Administrative Assistant within two days of any meeting and provide the name of the person who will be speaking and the subject to be addressed.

If a person decides to appeal any decision made by the South Walton Fire District's Board of Fire Commissioners with respect to any matter considered at such meeting or hearing, will need a record of the proceedings and that for such purpose may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.


End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
FIREFIGHTERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM

BOARD MEETINGS - 2012

2011-11-30,

Retirement Board



    MEETING SCHEDULE

    FEBRUARY 27, 2012 2:30 P.M.

    JUNE 4, 2012 2:30 P.M.

    AUGUST 27, 2012 2:30 P.M.

    DECEMBER 3, 2012 2:30 P.M.


All meetings will be held at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach FL 32459 unless otherwise notified by posting a change of location.

Any person(s) who wish to be placed on the agenda must contact Nate Brown at nbrown@swfd.org within fifteen (15) days of any meeting and provide the name of the person who will be speaking and the subject to be addressed.


End



ELF RIDE 2011

2011-11-21,

Elf Ride





End



Home for the Holidays

2011-11-21,

Holidays



South Walton Fire District (SWFD) is offering a "Home for the Holidays" program. This program is designed to allow patients in skilled nursing and adult living facilities to go home and be with family members for holiday dinner. Patients must be self-supporting while at the residence, and be left in the care of a responsible family member.

The South Walton Fire District will be offering free transportation on a space available basis to local residents who would otherwise be unable to come home for the holiday celebrations. The "Home for the Holidays" program will provide transportation on Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Day and/or Christmas Eve or Christmas Day only, from the hours of 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. All requests for Thanksgiving transportation must be received by November 22, 2011 and all Christmas Holiday transportation request must be received by December 23, 2011.

South Walton Fire District will provide free roundtrip transportation originating in "South Walton" and ending in Walton County or within the Destin City limits. "The Home for the Holidays program is a way the Fire District can provide good cheer to local families, and we look forward to providing this special service to our community," stated Ryan Crawford, Operations Chief.

If you need additional information or would like to schedule transportation, please call our Communications Center at 850-267-0167.



End



Preventing Home Cooking Fires/Injuries

2011-11-21,

Holiday Safety



The holiday season is approaching and it is the time of year when family and friends come together to celebrate. Most of the holiday festivities revolve around a meal. With all the guests, distractions, and excitement of the holiday season, cooking and food preparation can be overwhelming and potentially dangerous.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):
  • Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries.
  • Two-thirds or 66% of home cooking fire started with the ignition of food or other cooking materials.
  • During 2004–2008, fire departments responded to an average of 155,000 home structure fires that involved cooking equipment per year.
  • These fires caused an average of 460 civilian fire deaths, 4,850 civilian fire injuries and $724 million in direct property damage per year.
  • Ranges were involved in three of every five (59%) of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 16%.
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires.
The South Walton Fire District would like to remind everyone of the importance of maintaining a fire safe environment during the holidays. By following some simple safety tips it will help keep you, your family, friends/guest and your home safe for the holiday.
  • Always keep an eye on food being heated. Unattended cooking causes the majority of fires in the kitchen. If you leave the kitchen, turn off the heat.
  • Keep children away from appliances when cooking. Enforce a "kid-free zone" around the stove and teach youngsters not to play in that area.
  • Dress appropriately for cooking. Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking and try not to reach over the stove.
  • Turn handles inward so pots and pans won't be pulled or knocked off the stove.
  • Keep the stove-top clean and clear. Keep food and grease from building up by cleaning often and keep things that can catch fire, like pot holders or wooden utensils, away from heat.
  • Carefully monitor hot oil, keeping the pan lid close at hand. Guard against splattering grease by lowering food into oil with utensils; don't just drop it in.
  • If you're cooking with oil and it ignites, don't throw water on the fire. Don't try moving the pan either. Turn the burner off and smother the fire with a pan lid. If this doesn't work, leave the house and call 9-1-1.
  • If you have a fire in your microwave oven, close the door to the microwave and unplug it. Don't use the microwave again until you've had it serviced. Do not put any metallic materials in the microwave oven.
  • Keep an "ABC" dry chemical fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
  • Use caution with electrical appliances. Plug one appliance into an outlet at a time. Have appliances with frayed or cracked cords repaired before use.
  • Keep heat-producing appliances away from walls and curtains.
  • Keep appliance cords as short as possible to avoid accidents such as tripping or knocking the appliance over.
  • Always have hot pads and lids ready when cooking. You may need them if you experience a small pan fire.
  • Use a burner that's the appropriate size for the pan you're using.
The SWFD wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season and to ensure you do, we are available to answer any fire safety questions you may have. Please contact Fire Marshal Sammy Sanchez at 850-267-1298 or info@swfd.org for more information.



End



Angel Tree 2011

2011-11-15,

Angel Tree





End



Structure Fire in Seacrest Beach

2011-11-07,

Structure Fire



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call at 11:10 A.M. this morning reporting a structure fire at 8865 E. CR 30 A in the Seacrest Beach area. SWFD crews arrived within 6 minutes of the original 911 call to find a garage fire that was quickly spreading to the house.

An aggressive attack by the first arriving crews contained the majority of the damage to the garage. The residents were home at the time, and were able to elude the fire with no injuries. Crews remained on scene into the afternoon to ensure the fire was completely out and assist the occupants of the home.

Estimated loss is approximately $150,000.00

The SWFD and the Florida State Fire Marshal's office are investigating.



End



Nation Wide Alert Testing to Take Place

2011-11-03,

Alert Testing



At 1:00 PM CST (2:00 PM EST) on November 9, 2011 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The Test Signal will last 3 minutes and will be broadcast on all television and radio stations in the United States.

This is the first time this test will be conducted simultaneously nation-wide. The purpose of the test is to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the system as a way to alert the public during nationwide emergencies. At the request of the FCC, The South Walton Fire District would like to inform all of its customers, residents, and guest of this important test.

FEMA and the FCC have already conducted a pilot test, in Alaska, and found that advance public notice helped keep from overwhelming 911 Centers during that test.

The public and the media can obtain additional information from the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau website at www.fcc.gov/pshs.

End



Change your Clocks - Change your Batteries!

2011-11-02,

SAFETY



For 13 years, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) has participated in the International Association of Fire Chiefs' campaign "Change your Clock -Change your Battery", reminding citizens to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when they change their clocks this Sunday, November 6, 2011.

SWFD is so committed to this belief that the Fire District will install and replace batteries in smoke detectors for South Walton residents who are senior citizens, disabled, or families in need, at no charge. Remember, the life of a smoke detector is 10 years. If your detector is 10 years old or older, it should be replaced.

Some alarming facts:
  • Every year, approximately 3,000 people lose their lives in home fires, and most of those deaths are among the elderly, the disabled, the low income, and the very young.
  • Home fires account for four of every five fire-related deaths and three of every four fire-related injuries.
  • Many of these deaths may have been prevented if a working smoke detector was in place.
  • More than 90% of homes in the U.S. have smoke detectors, but 1/3 are estimated to have dead or missing batteries.
  • Remember - please set your clocks back one hour on Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 2:00 a.m.!
For more information about smoke detectors, fire safety and developing a home escape plan, contact Fire Marshal Sanchez at the South Walton Fire District, 911 N. CR 393 Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 at 850-267-1298.

End



Structure Fire in Watercolor

2011-10-21,

FIRE



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call at 1:17 A.M. this morning reporting a structure fire. SWFD crews from Station 2 were the first to arrive at 238 Watercolor Blvd, Bait House Restaurant, to find a large commercial building with heavy fire involvement.

SWFD crews encountered a quick spreading fire that had breached the attic as well as the roof. Although this made for a very "stubborn" fire, the crews were still able to knock down the flames and save over half of the 4,800 square foot facility. Crews remained on scene throughout the rest of the morning to extinguish hot spots and ensure the fire was completely out.

Estimated loss is approximately $650,000.00

The SWFD and the Florida State Fire Marshal's office are investigating.

End



Fire Prevention Open House

2011-10-19,

OPEN HOUSE



In an effort to promote fire/life safety, the South Walton Fire District will be hosting a free "Open House" on Saturday October 22, 2011 from 11am-2pm.

There will be "live" demonstrations, child safety seat inspections, fire related games and activities, a "jump house" blood pressure checks, food, drinks and fun and more!

Please plan on joining us in support of Fire Prevention and learn to "Protect Your Family From Fire".

The event will take place at the SWFD Station 2 located at 2109 S. HWY 395 Seagrove Beach, Fl. 32459.

If you have any questions, please contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal at 850-267-1298

End



South Walton Fire District Launches Citizen Volunteer Program

2011-10-10,

Volunteer Program



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Citizen Volunteer Program officially kicked off last week. The "volunteers" began filling their roles assisting Fire District personnel.

"There are many residents in Walton County that are retired, semi-retired, or stay at home parents, all looking for a way to contribute to their community, we now offer the opportunity to fill that void, " said Assistant Chief Marc Anderson, program coordinator. "Initially the volunteers will focus mainly on "administrative/clerical" duties."

"By becoming a SWFD volunteer, that individual becomes a member of one of Florida's leading fire-rescue agencies," said Rick Talbert, Fire Chief

"The talent and skill level of these volunteers is very impressive," but there will not be any firefighting/combat duties involved," said Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal.

Some long term goals and objectives include: fire prevention, public education, CPR, event coordination support and fleet maintenance support. If you would like to be part of our exciting, dynamic team as a citizen volunteer please contact SWFD for a volunteer application. For additional information please feel free to call us at (850) 267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
NOTICE of SPECIAL MEETING

2011-09-23,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Special Meeting on:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters,
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners does hereby give public notice of its intention to adopt Resolutions No. 11-08 and 11-09. The public is encouraged to attend and comment.

The proposed resolutions may be inspected at South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
NOTICE of Executive Session

2011-09-20,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on:

Thursday, September 22, 2011
5:30 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 2nd Floor Training Room
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss labor negotiations.

For information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT NOTICE OF
CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS SESSION

2011-09-14,

Notice



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD), members of the SWFD Board of Fire Commissioners and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 on the following date:

September 19, 2011
8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT NOTICE OF
CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS SESSION

2011-09-14,

Notice



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD), members of the SWFD Board of Fire Commissioners and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 on the following date:

September 16, 2011
8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

Notice: Final Public Hearing of
Ad Valorem Taxes and Budget 2011/2012

2011-09-09,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold the Final Public Hearing on

Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 5:01 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

Notice: First Public Hearing of
Tentative Ad Valorem Taxes and Budget 2011/2012

2011-09-06,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold the First Public Hearing on

Thursday, September 8, 2011

5:01 p.m.


at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
NOTICE of Executive Session

2011-09-06,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on:

Monday, September 12, 2011
8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.


at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 2nd Floor Training Room - 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss the independent actuary findings.

For information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



NOTICE OF INTENT TO ENACT RESOLUTION

2011-09-01,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District proposes to adopt the following Resolution:

A RESOLUTION OF THE SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT ESTABLISHING A FEE SCHEDULE FOR FALSE ALARMS AS DEFINED IN SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT ORDINANCE #2011-02, AND PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY, REPEAL OF CONFLICTING RESOLUTIONS, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

A public hearing on the Resolution will be held on the September 12, 2011, at the South Walton Fire District, 911 County Highway 393 North, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459 at 4:00 P.M. All interested parties may appear at the meeting and be heard with respect to the requested Resolution.

A copy of the Proposed Resolution may be inspected at South Walton Fire District.

End



NOTICE OF INTENT TO ENACT ORDINANCE

2011-09-01,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District proposes to adopt the following Ordinance:

AN ORDINANCE OF THE SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT CREATING CONTROLS AND UTILIZATION FOR PRIVATELY OWNED FIRE ALARM SYSTEMS; PROVIDES FOR FALSE ALARM FEES AND PENALTIES; PROVIDES FOR ALARM SYSTEM DISCONNECT FOR CAUSE AND UNAUTHORIZED RECONNECT; PROVIDES FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDES FOR REPEAL OF CONFLICTING ORDINANCES; PROVIDES FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE

A public hearing on the Ordinance will be held on the September 12, 2011, at the South Walton Fire District, 911 County Highway 393 North, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459 at 4:00 P.M. All interested parties may appear at the meeting and be heard with respect to the requested Ordinance.

A copy of the Proposed Ordinance may be inspected at South Walton Fire District.

End



Garage Burns in Santa Rosa Beach

2011-08-26,

Fire



On August 25, 2011, The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call at 5:30 P.M. reporting a garage fire. SWFD Station 3 crews were the first to arrive at the home located at 179 Emerald Ridge (Gulf Trace Subdivision) to find a garage attached to a single family dwelling fully engulfed in flames.

SWFD Crews arrived within 7 minutes of the initial 911 call. An aggressive attack by SWFD crews contained the fire to the garage area within 10 minutes. The remainder of the estimated 3,000 square foot home appeared to sustain only minor smoke damages. The residents were home at the time but were able to elude the fire with no injuries. An investigation by the SWFD Fire Marshal and the State Fire Marshal's Office determined the cause to be a battery charger located in a utility/storage locker. SWFD responded with 2 Engines, 2 Ladder Companies, 2 Rescue Units, 1 Chief Officer and 1 Fire Marshal.

The South Walton Fire District would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that battery chargers often produce high temperatures and should always be used in areas with adequate ventilation. Never use battery chargers in closed confined spaces. Always make sure the charger has completely cooled down before storing.

End



Aldridge-Benge Firefighter Safety Act

2011-08-24,

Firefighter Safety



The Aldridge-Benge Firefighter Safety Act, which was unanimously passed by both the Florida House and Senate and became state law in late 2010, has not completely been adopted by all area businesses meeting this criteria.

Florida Statute 633.027, requires the owners of commercial, industrial, and multi-unit residential buildings (three or more units) in Florida to be marked with an emblem to warn firefighters of the use of lightweight floor and roof trusses, which are prone to early collapse under fire conditions. The act was named in the memory of two Orange County (FL) firefighters who were killed in the collapse of a gift shop that was constructed of such components.

Reaction and adoption to this very important state law appears to be slow. The South Walton Fire District is urging area business partners to comply with this state requirement. A letter outlining the state statue and emblem requirements was recently distributed by utilizing the Walton Area Chamber of Commerce e-blast system. It is estimated that over 4,000 e-mail addresses have received this information. For additional information regarding this statute, please contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal SWFD or visit the Fire/Life Safety Tab at the top of the page.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
FIREFIGHTERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM
NOTICE PENSION BOARD MEETING

2011-08-23,

Notice of Meeting



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will hold a regularly scheduled meeting on

Monday, August 29, 2011
2:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.

at South Walton Fire District
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL


The purpose of the meeting will be to address the following:
  • Consultant's reports
  • Chairman's position
  • Non recurring payment processing
  • State acceptance of payroll assumption change
  • Email accounts
  • Public records
  • Fiduciary liability insurance
  • Assignment of responsibilities for board members
For questions or further information, please email Nathan Brown at nbrown@swfd.org .

End



New Volunteer Program Announced

2011-08-12,

Volunteers



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) is proud to announce the addition of a new "Volunteer Program". This program is designed for anyone interested in assisting with the day to day operations of the SWFD in a non-firefighting capacity.

"There are many residents in our area that have a desire to give back to the community. This program will allow our citizens to do just that." said Asst. Chief Marc Anderson. "By becoming a SWFD volunteer, that individual becomes a member of one of Florida's leading fire-rescue agencies," said Rick Talbert, Fire Chief

Anyone interested in being a part of this exciting, dynamic team should contact SWFD for a volunteer application. For additional information please feel free to call us 850-267-1298.

End



Back to School Safety

2011-08-05,

SAFETY



As the school year begins Monday, August 8th, drivers will once again be encountering children commuting to school, some for their very first time. The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) would like to encourage motorists to be especially alert for children, particularly in and around school zones.

In an effort to raise driver awareness that children and school buses will once again be part of weekday traffic, the SWFD will assist by providing "visual reminders" at several school locations.
  • Eden's Landing off of Hwy 395 near (Bay Elementary School)
  • Hwy 98 Median near the entrance to the new Emerald Cost Middle School
  • South Walton High School off of Highway 331
  • 30-A on right away across Butler Elementary
The SWFD would also like to provide a few safe driving tips to assist motorists in keeping the roadways safe for our children this school year, as more drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists will resume sharing the road during this busy back-to-school season:
  • Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs that children could dart into the road.
  • Eliminate distractions. Taking your eyes off the road for two seconds doubles your chance of being involved in a crash. Avoid engaging in distracting behavior.
  • Plan ahead. Leave early for your destination and allow extra time for congestion. Modify your route to avoid school zones and traffic, if possible.
  • Drop children off on school property.
  • Remember, school zones are non-passing zones. Doing so is not only dangerous, but also against the law.
  • Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading students.
For further information, please contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal at SWFD Headquarters, 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT

NOTICE OF CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS SESSION

2011-07-22,

NOTICE



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD), members of the SWFD Board of Fire Commissioners and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 on the following date:

August 10, 2011
2:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.


The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT FIREFIGHTERS
RETIREMENT SYSTEM PENSION BOARD

NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING

2011-07-15,

NOTICE - CANCELLED



THIS MEETING HAS BEEN CANCELLED AS OF AUGUST 1, 2011



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will hold a special meeting on

Wednesday, August 3, 2011
10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.


at South Walton Mosquito Control
774 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.


The purpose of the meeting will be to address the following:

To gain information about utilizing Yahoo to save and display Board information.

For questions or further information, please email Mark Youngblood, Chairman at mark@rentthebeach.com.

End



QUICK ACTIONS SAVE CONDOMINIUM

2011-07-13,

CONDO FIRE



On Wednesday July 13, 2011 at 2:19 pm, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a report of an alarm activation. Crews arrived on scene at the Westwinds Condo on Sandestin Beach Resort property within minutes of the initial call. They discovered smoke showing on the 17th floor along with an activated sprinkler system and immediately called for a "working fire" dispatch.

After further investigation, it appears that a washer/dryer combo unit had malfunctioned and caused a fire. Fortunately the occupant was inside the residence when the fire broke out. Despite his attempts to fight the fire with a fire extinguisher, the temperatures in the room rose above 155 degrees Fahrenheit. This caused the fire sprinkler system head that was located directly above the washer/dryer combo unit to activate and ultimately extinguish the fire.

The condo unit suffered minimal water, smoke and fire damage. No injuries were reported. SWFD responded with (1) one engine company, (1) one truck company, (1) one rescue unit, a chief officer and the fire marshal/investigator.

The South Walton Fire District urges all their residents, guests, and visitors to be aware of your surroundings /environment(s) when staying in a residence other than your home. By following these tips, you and your family can remain safe during any visit.
  • Always know two ways out!
  • Never take the elevator during a fire. Find the stairs (if available).
  • Know where the fire extinguisher is located and how to use it.
  • Know the address of where you are staying.
  • Never leave cooking unattended on the stove.
  • In a fire, remain calm, dial 911, get out and stay out!
  • Take all alarms seriously. Don't think it can't happen to you!



End



JUNE MONTHLY REPORT

2011-07-13,

REPORT



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) saw a slight increase in call volume this past month. For the year, SWFD has responded to over 2,300 incidents. That is 350 more incidents compared to last year at this same time.

SWFD responded to the following incidents for the month of June:

Fire-19
Medical-320
Hazardous Conditions-7
Service Calls-27
Good Intent- 48
False Alarms- 48
TOTAL= 469

South Walton Fire District is responsible for Fire Protection, Emergency Medical Services, Hazardous Material Mitigation, Public Fire/Life Safety Education, and Prevention duties for an area of 84 square miles within Walton County, Florida.

This area runs from the Okaloosa/Walton County Line on the west, to the Walton/ Bay County Line on the east, and from the Choctawhatchee Bay (Intracoastal Waterway) north, to the Gulf of Mexico on the south.

Included in this area are 26 miles of beaches and 26 miles of inland waterways. The population of South Walton ranges from 20,000 to over 100,000 during the tourist season.

End



WALTON FIRE COUNCIL MEETING NOTICE

2011-07-13,

NOTICE



The Walton County Fire Council will hold a Meeting on Monday, July 18, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. at the DeFuniak Springs Civic/Community Center located at 361 North 10th Street, DeFuniak Springs, FL.

This meeting is opened to the public. Please be governed accordingly.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT FIREFIGHTERS
RETIREMENT SYSTEM PENSION BOARD

NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING

2011-07-12,

NOTICE



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will hold a special meeting on

Friday, July 15, 2011
10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.


at South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.


The purpose of the meeting will be to address the following:

1) Request for Information from Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Company.
2) Public Records Request

For questions or further information, please email Mark Youngblood, Chairman at mark@rentthebeach.com.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

NOTICE of 2011/2012 BUDGET WORKSHOP

2011-07-12,

NOTICE



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a workshop on

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.

at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters,
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the workshop is to discuss District budget issues/cost saving measures regarding the 2011-2012 budget year.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this workshop.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT NOTICE OF MEETING

2011-07-11,

NOTICE



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD), members of the SWFD Board of Fire Commissioners and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 on the following date:

July 21, 2011

2:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.


The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



BANNED FIREWORKS SEIZED

2011-07-06,

Fireworks



When the Walton County Board of Commissioners issued a mandatory burn ban last week, that ban included "all" consumer fireworks, as many people found out this past holiday weekend.

With an estimated street value of over $7,000 dollars, many tourists, visitors and residents had their fireworks seized in an effort by local emergency response agencies to uphold the mandatory burn ban.

Despite the random rain showers, most of Walton County remains well above the 650 Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI). Any number above 500 is considered to be in the wildfire danger zone. "With existing drought like conditions, every open fire is considered a legitimate threat to our area," said Rick Talbert, Fire Chief South Walton Fire District.

The majority of the seized fireworks are considered "illegal" by Florida State Statute 791. Fireworks that are considered "not illegal" were seized due to the mandatory burn ban. "Even though sparklers don't explode or launch into the air, they can still produce temperatures in excess of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, that coupled with extremely dry conditions is a recipe for disaster," said Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal South Walton Fire District.

Citizens and visitors are encouraged to monitor news outlets and information released from authorities to ensure they remain safe by complying with local, state and federal rules and regulations.



End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT NOTICE OF MEETING

2011-07-05,

NOTICE



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD), members of the SWFD Board of Fire Commissioners and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 on the following date:



July 7, 2011
2:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.


The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



WALTON COUNTY ISSUES MANDATORY BURN BAN

2011-06-28,

MANDATORY BURN BAN



With extreme drought conditions and a lack of appreciable rain in the area, The Walton County Board of Commissioners issued a mandatory burn ban today. Presented by The Walton Fire Council (comprised of members from The South Walton Fire District, City of Freeport Fire Department, City of DeFuniak Fire Department, Walton County Fire Rescue, Liberty Volunteer Fire District and Argyle Volunteer Fire Department along with Walton County Emergency Management, Walton County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Division of Forestry) the emergency ordinance was issued in attempt to protect Walton County and it residents and visitors from careless open burning.

The mandatory burn ban means that Walton County residents as well as visitors are being instructed to NOT burn any type of yard debris until drought-like conditions subside and the ban is lifted. The mandatory ban also includes any other type of 'open fires' like campfires and bonfires as well as unauthorized fireworks displays. All beach bonfire permits have been suspended until further notice. As a result of the emergency ordinance, those that fail to adhere to the burn ban are subject to a fine to include charges for damages.

Cooking fires contained within grills and other such devices as well as authorized 'professional' fireworks displays are not included in this mandatory burn ban.

The average drought index using the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, or KBDI, for Walton County is 680. However, there are many parts of Walton County, in particular in South Walton that are in the 750 range of the KBDI. Any number above 500 is considered in the wildfire danger zone. Even with the scattered showers that have recently occurred over the last few days, it has not provided the necessary moisture to reduce the current wildfire threats and as a result the mandatory burn ban will remain in effect until Walton County receives significant rainfall over an extended period of time. Furthermore, lighting associated with thunderstorms can spark wildfires that can smolder for several days until the vegetative 'fuel' that it's burning in dries out and can then spread rapidly.

The South Walton Fire District is urging citizens to follow these safety tips:
  • Delay any outside burning until Walton County receives significant rainfall over an extended period of time.
  • Take yard debris to the Walton County landfill or recycling centers, a safer alternative to backyard burning. Call Walton County Solid Waste at 892-8180 for more information.
  • Immediately report any unattended fires to local authorities.
  • Use vehicle ashtrays instead of throwing cigarette butts out the window.
  • Use caution when mowing or working with other equipment that could spark.
  • Illegal fireworks remain a constant threat. Avoid them by attending a professional fireworks display.
For media interviews and photo and video opportunities, contact Fire Marshal Sammy Sanchez of the South Walton Fire District.

End



SOUTH WALTON DROUGHT CONDITIONS PROMPT SPECIAL CONCERN OVER FIREWORKS
FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY HOLIDAY

2011-06-23,

CONCERNED



LISTEN TO OUR PSA


The Walton County Safety Coalition (WCSC) - comprised of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD), the Walton County Sheriff's Office (WCSO), the South Walton Tourist Development Council (TDC) and the Florida Division of Forestry - is urging special caution with fireworks this Fourth of July holiday, and reminds the public that, not only are fireworks extremely dangerous, but most are prohibited in the state of Florida, including South Walton. A public service announcement will soon begin airing over local radio stations to reinforce the message.

"Many people mistakenly believe that exploding fireworks are allowed on our beaches. Under Florida law, only novelty-type fireworks are legal for consumer usage, and anything that flies in the air or explodes is illegal," says South Walton Fire District Fire Chief Rick Talbert. "We are encouraging the public to attend one of the free holiday fireworks displays scheduled throughout our area."

Legal fireworks include sparklers, snake or glow worms, trick noisemakers, party poppers, snappers and other similar fireworks that contain small amounts of pyrotechnic materials that typically do not leave the ground. "Just because sparklers are allowed, though, does not mean they are without risk," advises South Walton Fire Marshal Sammy Sanchez. "Parents should never allow children to hold sparklers without very close adult supervision. These fireworks burn at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, and remain hot for several minutes after burning out."

According to Walton County Sheriff Michael A. Adkinson, Jr., current drought conditions mandate a zero tolerance policy toward individuals who use, sell or possess illegal fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday weekend and in the dry summer weeks following the celebration. "Leave the shows to the pros," advises Sheriff Adkinson. "Illegal fireworks are dangerous and can cause severe bodily injury and death. Deputies will be in full force to ensure our citizens remain safe while they celebrate our nation's birthday."

On June 13, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in Florida due to wildfires and drought conditions. State meteorologists forecast that the potential for any significant rainfall is low thru mid-July, with temperatures expected to be 10-15 degrees above normal.

The Keetch Byram Drought Index (KBDI) is currently at 650-699 in Walton County; the average KBDI for the state is 646. According to KBDI, 749 or greater is drought-like conditions. The wildfire threat as a result is expected to worsen in the new few weeks, which makes holiday fireworks even more hazardous than usual.

In conjunction with the drought conditions, the Florida Division of Forestry has advised that there are currently 422 active wildfires burning approximately 115,692 acres throughout the state. Bruce Smith, Forestry Area Supervisor with the Division of Forestry cautions people to exercise extra care with outdoor cooking. "Grills and smokers can present a special hazard in these extreme drought conditions," he notes. "Never leave a fire unattended, and make sure that all embers are completely extinguished by soaking with water. Cigarettes are another potential fire hazard. Never toss a lit cigarette onto the ground."

On May 6, dry conditions resulted in a fire at South Walton's Inlet Beach Regional Beach access boardwalk. Due to quick thinking on the part of the TDC's beach maintenance crew and prompt response by the South Walton Fire District, the Walton County Sheriff's Office and the Division of Forestry, damage was confined to the boardwalk alone and adjacent structures were spared. Repairs to the boardwalk are underway.

Any worsening of current drought conditions may result in a ban on permitting for some professional displays in South Walton. "We understand that fireworks traditionally play a big role in Fourth of July celebrations," notes Chief Talbert. "We're carefully monitoring drought conditions and will make our decision about issuing permits as the date nears. As always, our number one goal is the safety of our residents and visitors."

TDC Executive Director Dawn Moliterno adds that, fireworks aside, there are numerous ways to celebrate the holiday in South Walton. "Our beach neighborhoods do an excellent job of providing free, family-friendly entertainment for our visitors. In addition to our beautiful beaches and great restaurants and shops, visitors can enjoy concerts, movies and plays throughout the area on virtually any night they choose."

In 2009, fireworks caused an estimated 18,000 reported fires, including 1,300 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in 30 civilian injuries and $38 million in direct property damage. Also in 2009, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,800 people for fireworks related injuries; 53% of 2009 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 42% were to the head. [Source: NFPA's Fireworks report, by John R. Hall, Jr., June 2011]

Those who still choose to use sparklers should follow these safety guidelines, provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Council on Fireworks Safety. Among them: always read and follow label directions, have an adult present, use outdoors only, always have water handy (a garden hose and bucket), light only one firework at a time, and never give fireworks to small children. For a complete list of safety guidelines, visit http://www.swfd.org/fireworks.php.

There are several professional fireworks displays currently scheduled for the holiday. All are free and open to the public:

Sunday, July 3:
  • Bud & Alley's, Seaside- 9:00 p.m.
Monday, July 4th:
  • Rosemary Beach - bike parade beginning at 7:30am, family field day from 9-11am, barbecue from 5-7pm, concert from 6:30-8:30pm, with fireworks at 8:45pm
  • The Village of Baytowne Wharf, Sandestin Beach and Golf Resort - 6-10pm kids' activities from 6-10pm, live music from 7-9pm, with fireworks at 9:15pm
  • Seaside Amphitheater - concert performance at 7pm, with fireworks featuring musical accompaniment on 30A Radio 107.1FM at 9:00pm
  • Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa - fireworks at 9:15 p.m.
  • DeFuniak Springs - parade at 4:30pm, Eglin flyover at 6:15pm, '50s musical entertainment at 6:30pm, with fireworks after dark, at approximately 8:30pm
For more information on fireworks safety, please visit SWFD Fireworks Safety or call the South Walton Fire District at 850-267-1298. For information on Fourth of July holiday events, click on Visit South Walton or call the South Walton TDC at 850-267-1216.

End



WALTON FIRE COUNCIL ENCOURAGES VOLUNTARY BURN BAN

2011-06-22,

VOLUNTARY BURN BAN



With extreme drought conditions persisting and summer lightning storms on the horizon, the Walton Fire Council, members from the Florida Division of Forestry, the Walton County Sheriff's Office, and Walton County Emergency Management officials met on Monday evening to discuss the potential hazards and concerns for the 2011 wildfire season. In addition, implementing a "voluntary burn ban until further notice" was discussed as well as forming a Multi-Agency Wildland Task Force.

The Walton Fire Council is comprised of Fire Chiefs from Walton County's six fire-rescue agencies: South Walton Fire District, DeFuniak Springs Fire Department, Freeport Fire Department, Walton County Fire Rescue, Liberty Volunteer Fire District, and Argyle Volunteer Fire Department.

The voluntary burn ban means that Walton County residents as well as visitors are being encouraged to NOT burn any type of yard debris until drought-like conditions subside. The voluntary ban would also include any other type of 'open fires' like campfires and bonfires as well as unauthorized fireworks displays.

Cooking fires contained within grills and other such devices as well as authorized 'professional' fireworks displays are not included in this voluntary burn ban.

The average drought index using the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, or KBDI, based on a scale from 0 to 800, is over 700 in Walton County. Any number above 500 is considered in the wildfire danger zone. The drought index, coupled with lightning, has prompted fire officials to recommend a voluntary burn ban for all areas of Walton County. Even scattered showers will not provide the necessary moisture to reduce the current wildfire threats, so the voluntary burn ban will remain in effect until Walton County receives significant rainfall over an extended period of time. Furthermore, lighting associated with thunderstorms can spark wildfires that can smolder for several days until the vegetative 'fuel' that it's burning in dries out and can then spread rapidly.

Your local fire officials urge citizens to follow these safety tips:
  • Voluntarily delay any outside burning until Walton County receives significant rainfall over an extended period of time.
  • Take yard debris to the Walton County landfill or recycling centers, a safer alternative to backyard burning. Call Walton County Solid Waste at 892-8180 for more information.
  • Immediately report any unattended fires to local authorities.
  • Use vehicle ashtrays instead of throwing cigarette butts out the window.
  • Use caution when mowing or working with other equipment that could spark.
  • Illegal fireworks remain a constant threat. Avoid them by attending a professional fireworks display.
Even though this burn ban is voluntary at this time, meaning that there are no fines or penalties associated with the actual act of violating it, it is important that the public know that if their fire escapes they could be subject to a "Notice of Violation" (NOV) and could be responsible for suppression costs involved which is usually a minimum of $150.00.

"The formation of a County Multi-Agency Wildland Task Force could not come at a better time'" says Walton Fire Council Chair, South Walton Fire Chief Rick Talbert. "While wildfires have impacted many Florida counties, it is imperative that Walton County look at a task force approach, utilizing a cooperative and unified effort to minimize the risk to our county" says Talbert.

Though the Walton Fire Council cannot implement a mandatory burn ban, however, it can make recommendations to the Walton County Board of County Commissioners, which implemented mandatory burn bans in 1998 and 2001. Such a decision by the County Commissioners could be forthcoming.

For more information on current wildfire conditions, visit Florida DOF and click on the "Wildfire Information" link.

Florida's dry weather since the beginning of May has caused extreme fire activity. Since May 1, the Department's Division of Forestry has battled more than 1,500 wildfires that have burned nearly 200,000 acres across the state, making it one of the busiest wildfire years in recent history.

For media interviews and photo and video opportunities, contact Fire Marshal Sammy Sanchez of the South Walton Fire District at 850-267-1298 or Brian Goddin-Wildfire Mitigation Specialist/ Public Information Officer: Florida Division of Forestry (Chipola District) at 625-6621. To report a suspicious fire, call 547-7083.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

2011/2012 BUDGET WORKSHOP NOTICE

HAS BEEN POSTPONED

2011-06-20,

NOTICE



THIS MEETING HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE


The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a workshop on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 from 1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

The purpose of the workshop is to discuss District budget issues/cost saving measures regarding the 2011-2012 budget year.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this workshop.

End



Notice of Surplus Property for sale.

2011-05-25,

Surplus Property



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) invites the public to place a bid for the purchase of surplus equipment listed at www.swfd.org/surplusproperty .

Prospective bidders are invited to schedule an appointment to inspect the equipment between the hours of 8am-4:30pm beginning Wednesday, June 1, 2011 through Tuesday, June 14, 2011.

SWFD will accept bids via courier or mail from Wednesday, June 8, 2011 until Tuesday, June 14, 2011. All bids must be submitted in writing with "Sealed Bid" clearly marked on the outside of the envelope.

Deliver bids to:
South Walton Fire District
Station 3/Headquarters
911 N. CR 393
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459


For appointment call: Marc Anderson, Asst. Chief at 850-267-1298

In the best interest of the District, all SWFD surplus property shall be sold to the highest responsible bidder. The SWFD reserves the right to reject any and all bids.

For a description and photos of the property to be sold, please visit www.swfd.org/surplusproperty

End



NOTICE OF INTENT TO ENACT ORDINANCE

2011-05-25,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District proposes to adopt the following Ordinance:

AN ORDINANCE OF THE SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT CREATING THE ADOPTION OF THE SPECIAL MASTER FOR FIRE/LIFE SAFETY CODES ENFORCEMENT AND APPEALS PROCESS. PROVIDING FOR (1) SEVERABILITY, (2) REPEAL OF CONFLICTING ORDINANCES, AND (3) AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

A public hearing on the Ordinance will be held on the June 6, 2011, at the South Walton Fire District, 911 County Highway 393 North, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459 at 4:00 P.M. All interested parties may appear at the meeting and be heard with respect to the requested Ordinance.

A copy of the Proposed Ordinance may be inspected at South Walton Fire District.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
PENSION BOARD MEETING ATTENDANCE

2011-05-23,

Meeting



The South Walton Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners will be attending the regularly scheduled South Walton Fire District Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board meeting on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 from 08:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.

For questions, please call 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT NOTICE OF MEETING

2011-05-23,

Meeting



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD), members of the SWFD Board of Fire Commissioners and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 on the following date:

June 13, 2011from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.


The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



Brush Fire in South Walton

2011-05-06,

Brush Fire



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call at approximately 11:00 a.m. today, reporting a brush fire on the dunes in the West Park Street area of Inlet Beach that was spreading rapidly. The fire was reported by an on duty SWFD Lifeguard to the SWFD Communications Center. Our Fire Crews responded to find the dune line of this area on fire, threatening a nearby house and spreading to area walkovers and boardwalks. SWFD firefighters quickly deployed their lines and began attacking the main body of the fire, rapidly bringing the fire under control.

The fire ultimately burned the dunes in the area, approximately 100 feet of beach boardwalk. Although the fire spread to within five (5) feet of the nearby house, there was no damage reported to the structure.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Our current dry conditions and steady winds are the prime ingredients for potential wildfires. SWFD officials always urge residents to take extra measures to ensure their safety during the dry season.

For more information contact Fire Marshal Sammy Sanchez at ssanchez@swfd.org or call 850-267- 1268.





End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
NOTICE OF MEETINGS UPDATE

2011-05-06,

Meetings Update



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD), members of the SWFD Board of Fire Commissioners and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 on the following dates:

May 12, 2011 from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.

May 20, 2011 from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.


The purpose of the meetings will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



Easter Safety Tips

2011-04-22,

Safety Tips



Easter is a time for goodies, great food, candy, little toys and indoor and outdoor activities galore. By following these simple tips, you and your family can have a safe and fun Easter. A friendly reminder from our family to yours.
  • To prevent choking and exposure to choking hazards, children under the age of 5 should not be given small candy. Be sure to give out age-appropriate candy and be watchful of little ones at all times.
  • Toys with small pieces are also choking hazards so be mindful of any toys handed out to young children.
  • Decorating eggs is one of the most fun Easter traditions for children. However, remember that eggs can be hazardous and quickly spoil if not refrigerated properly before and after you decorate them. Hard-boiled eggs left out for several hours as part of a hunt or centerpiece should not be eaten.
  • When preparing eggs for the hunt, wash hands before and after working with raw eggs, as well as any utensils or dishes used. Do not use eggs that have been cracked or broken.
  • If you are going to be outside for long periods for an Easter egg hunt or other outdoor games, remember to apply sunscreen.
  • Remember that some kids have nut allergies that are very serious. Check with parents before offering any chocolate bunnies or other candies that might have nuts.
  • Set up a boundary for an outdoor Easter egg hunt so kids are not wandering off or into places that aren't safe or supervised.
  • Separate age groups so that the large kids are not running off for their eggs and knocking over smaller children. Or enforce a no running rule.
  • For indoor egg hunts, do not hide eggs near outlets, hard to reach areas, near glass or other breakables or dangerous spots.
  • Designate only certain rooms of the house for indoor egg hunts so children aren't running around the house unsupervised.
If you or your family has any questions, please contact the South Walton Fire District at 850-267-1298

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
NOTICE OF MEETINGS

2011-04-22,

Meetings



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD), members of the SWFD Board of Fire Commissioners and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 on the following dates:

  • May 5, 2011 from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
  • May 12, 2011 from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
  • May 19, 2011 from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
The purpose of the meetings will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT FIREFIGHTER'S
RETIREMENT SYSTEM PENSION BOARD

2011-04-15,

Special Meeting



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss plan assumption for salary increases, SB 1128 prospective actions and Early Buy Option plan.

Please Note: Due to time constraints, all public comment will be limited to three (3) minutes per person at the end of this meeting.

For questions or further information, please email Mark Youngblood, Chairman at mark@rentthebeach.com.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT FIREFIGHTER'S
RETIREMENT SYSTEM PENSION BOARD

2011-04-15,

Special Meeting



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will hold a special meeting on Monday, May 2, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to attend the regularly scheduled meeting of the SWFD Board of Fire Commissioners to present and discuss the dependability of actuarial findings of Foster and Foster and the actuary of record for the South Walton Firefighters Pension Trust Fund.

For questions or further information, please email Mark Youngblood, Chairman at mark@rentthebeach.com.

End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton
Thursday, April 7, 2011

2011-04-07,

Prescribed Burn



The Florida Parks Service at Deer Lake State Park will be conducting a 70 acre prescribed burn today, April 7, 2011, in an area located North of 30A East of AEC power lines, South of Point Washington and East of Camp Creek (Zones 5 & 6-see attached map). The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction out of the east, smoke will be visible in areas of South Walton and will drift to the west. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

Please contact the Florida Parks Service at 850-267-8300.

End



WILDFIRE THREAT:
South Walton Residents Can Learn To Be "Firewise"

2011-04-05,

Firewise



The Florida Division of Forestry and the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) are teaming up to present "How to Have a Firewise Home" on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011, 5:30PM- 8:00PM at the South Walton Fire District, 911 N. CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The workshop is designed to help homeowners learn how to protect their families and homes from wildfire. Everyone is welcome to come to this free workshop, and a free dinner will be provided.

Many South Walton County residents live near natural areas. While these natural areas are part of what makes Walton County a great place to live, there is also a wildfire hazard potential. Fire is a natural part of Florida. Come learn simple things that you can do to make your home and community more wildfire safe.

Workshop topics will include: how to know if you are at risk for wildfire, why homes burn, fire's natural role in Florida, Firewise construction and landscaping, and the national Firewise Communities/USA program.

Representatives from the Florida Division of Forestry will be on hand to discuss this important issue and to answer questions. Dinner will be provided at 5:30PM and everyone will get free materials and Firewise items. Please call Firewise Workshop Coordinator, Elise Cassie at 352-359-0722 or email ecassie@normandeau.com, or online at FIREWISE COMMUNITY WORKSHOPS, which will reserve your seat and will also serve as a head-count for dinner.

For media interviews and photo and video opportunities, contact Brian Goddin-Wildfire Mitigation Specialist/ Public Information Officer: Florida Division of Forestry (Chipola District) at 625-6621. To report a suspicious fire, call 547-7083. For more information about Florida's Division of Forestry, including wildfire information, or recreational opportunities, visit the DOF website at www.fl-dof.com. The Chipola Forestry Center of the Florida Division of Forestry consists of 7 counties including Bay, Walton, Gulf, Holmes, Calhoun, Washington, and Jackson counties.

End



Unattended Skillet Ignites Kitchen Fire

2011-04-05,

Kitchen Fire



At 5:46 p.m. on Monday, April 4, 2011, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a 911 call for a house on fire with a large amount of black smoke coming from the home. SWFD crews arrived a short time later to find that the homeowner had successfully extinguished the fire, but not before it caused approximately $3,000 worth of damage to the kitchen.

The homeowner had turned a stove burner on and turned their back to prepare the dinner. The burner had a pot of oil on it from a previous meal which ignited. Fortunately, the homeowner had a fire extinguisher nearby and was able to use it to extinguish the fire. The preparation and quick actions of this homeowner averted a potential disaster.

SWFD Fire Marshal, Sammy Sanchez, provides the following kitchen fire prevention tips:

Prevention tips
  • The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you're cooking.
  • Stay alert! To prevent cooking fires, you have to be alert. You won't be if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy.
Extinguishment tips
  • When in doubt, just get out. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 9-1-1 after you leave.
  • If you do try to fight the fire, be sure others are already getting out and you have a clear path to the exit. Have a fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and a lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan (make sure you are wearing the oven mitt). Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan is completely cool.
  • In case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you or your clothing.
For more information please contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal at ssanchez@swfd.org

End



NATIONAL PUBLIC SAFETY TELECOMMUNICATIONS WEEK

2011-04-05,

NTW 2011



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) will honor the men and women who serve as public safety dispatchers and call takers during National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, April 10-16, 2011.

In South Walton and across the country, in times of intense personal crisis or community-wide disasters, the primary access point for those seeking fire and EMS emergency assistance is 9-1-1. The SWFD communication operators, who receive these calls, provide the reassuring voice on the other side of the phone and the first point of contact for persons seeking immediate relief during emergency and non-emergency situations. Last year, the SWFD Communications Center received over 20,000 calls for service.

Introduced to Congress by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International in 1991, National Public Safety Telecommunications Week is the second week of April each year. SWFD is dedicating this week to our public safety telecommunicators who aid in providing 9-1-1 emergency assistance to the citizens and visitors of South Walton.

"Often called "the unsung heroes of public safety" or the "first" first responders, since they are usually the first to receive requests for emergency services from the public, they play a vital role in the successful delivery of public safety services to those in need. Every day, South Walton residents and visitors depend on the skill, expertise and commitment of these special men and women" said Robin Etienne, SWFD Communications Director.

This week we are honoring our dispatch and call-taking personnel with a special thank you for all the hard, dedicated work they do each day, all year round.

For further information or questions, please contact Marc Anderson, Assistant Chief at 850-267-1298.

End



NOTICE OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
THE SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

2011-04-05,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on Wednesday, April 13, 2011 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss contract negotiations.

For information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



NOTICE OF MEETING CANCELLATION

2011-04-05,

Meeting Cancelled



The meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. to discuss contract negotiations between the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) and the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

All other meetings are scheduled to be held as originally posted.

For questions, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT PENSION BOARD
NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING

2011-03-30,

Special Meeting



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD), members of the SWFD Board of Fire Commissioners and members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will meet on Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be the review and possible modification of the actuarial study.

Please Note: Due to time constraints, all public comment will be limited to three (3) minutes per person at the end of the meeting.

For questions or further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298 or email Mark Youngblood, Chairman at mark@rentthebeach.com.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT FIREFIGHTER'S
RETIREMENT SYSTEM PENSION BOARD

2011-03-30,

Special Meeting



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will hold a special meeting on Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be the review and possible modification of the actuarial study.

Please Note: Due to time constraints, all public comment will be limited to three (3) minutes per person at the end of this meeting.

For questions or further information, please email Mark Youngblood, Chairman at mark@rentthebeach.com

End



Drowning in Camp Creek area of South Walton

2011-03-18,

Drowning



At approximately 1:30 p.m. this afternoon the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call reporting two swimmers in distress adjacent to the beach area behind Pelican Circle and Seabreeze Boulevard in Seacrest Beach.

SWFD lifeguards arrived on scene and found one victim who had made it to the beach. After a scan of the water, a second victim was located offshore floating face down in the water. Lifeguards entered the water and brought the individual to shore where SWFD paramedics attended to the victim, who was unable to be resuscitated.

The incident is under investigation by Walton County Sheriff's Office and the medical examiner's office to determine the actual cause of the accident. At the time of the incident, the beach warning flags were yellow indicating a Medium Hazard, moderate surf and/or currents.

The SWFD urges all beachgoers to know their swimming capabilities, understand and heed the beach safety warning flags, the direction of lifeguards, and swim in front of a lifeguard tower. The location of this incident was 3 miles from the closest lifeguard tower.

For more information please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298.

End



Brush Fire in South Walton

2011-03-18,

Brush Fire



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call at approximately 12:50 p.m. reporting a brush fire at a wooded area behind 234 Loblolly Bay Dr. in the Driftwood Estates area of Santa Rosa Beach, growing rapidly and threatening homes. SWFD crews from SWFD Station 4/Mack Bayou Road arrived minutes later to find a substantial body of fire threatening three homes. In spite of strong winds from the south west and rapid fire growth, SWFD firefighters quickly deployed their lines and began attacking the main body of the fire, quickly bringing the fire under control.

Additional SWFD crews arrived and positioned themselves north of the fire protecting homes on Driftwood Road. The combined efforts of SWFD crews rapidly brought the fire under control and with their swift actions; none of the threatened homes were damaged.

The SWFD would like to thank the Walton County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) for providing assistance with aerial observation from their helicopter (Air 1) and road deputies cordoning off the fire area, which assisted with SWFD crews with their operations.

For more information contact Deputy Chief Sean Hughes at shughes@swfd.org or call 850-267-1268.

End



NOTICE OF MEETING CANCELLATION

2011-03-15,

NOTICE



The meeting scheduled for Friday, March 18, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. to discuss contract negotiations between the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) and the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

All other meetings are scheduled to be held as originally posted.

For questions, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
PENSION BOARD

2011-03-10,

NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD), members of the SWFD Board of Fire Commissioners and members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will meet on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to interview another investment group for real estate investment purposes.

For questions or further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298 or email Mark Youngblood, Chairman at mark@rentthebeach.com.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT FIREFIGHTERS
RETIREMENT SYSTEM PENSION BOARD

2011-03-10,

NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to interview another investment group for real estate investment purposes.

For questions or further information, please email Mark Youngblood, Chairman at mark@rentthebeach.com.

End



South Walton Fire District Lifeguards Take to the Beach

2011-03-09,

Lifeguards on Duty



South Walton Fire District (SWFD) lifeguards will report to their towers at eight beach access points this Saturday, March 12, 2011. The Beach Safety and Education Program, a partnership between the SWFD and the South Walton Tourist Development Council (TDC), began its 6th season two weeks ago, as new and returning lifeguards reported for the start of the annual training academy.

The annual training academy lasts 80 hours and consists of medical, surf rescue techniques, beach and water surveillance techniques, strength and stamina conditioning, Fire District policies/procedures and communications. "Training at this time of year in the Gulf is particularly challenging due to the cold water and weather temperatures and the District is proud of our new lifeguard team, who are committed to keeping our beaches and our community safe", said Gary Wise, Beach Safety Director.

The SWFD would like to invite the members of our community to attend the Lifeguard Academy graduation ceremony this Thursday, March 10, 2011at 3:30 p.m. at Ed Walline Park located at the intersection of CR 393 and CR 30A.

For further information, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298.

End



NOTICE OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
THE SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

2011-03-08,

Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on Monday, April 4, 2011 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss labor negotiations.

For information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton- March 8, 2011

2011-03-08,

Prescribed Burn



The Florida Parks Service at Deer Lake State Park will be conducting a 174 acre prescribed burn today, March 8, 2011, in an area located 1 mile south of Highway 98, 2 miles north of 30-A, east of power lines and 1 mile to the west of the Camp Creek Golf Course. The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction out of the north, smoke will be visible in areas of South Walton and will drift to the south. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

Please contact the Florida Parks Service at 850-267-8300.

End



Change your Clocks / Change your Batteries!

2011-03-07,

Reminder



For 13 years, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) has participated in the International Association of Fire Chiefs' campaign "Change your Clock -Change your Battery", reminding citizens to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when they change their clocks this Sunday, March 13, 2011. SWFD is so committed to this belief that the Fire District will install and replace batteries in smoke detectors for South Walton residents who are senior citizens, disabled, or families in need, at no charge. Remember, the life of a smoke detector is 10 years. If your detector is 10 years old or older, it should be replaced.

Some alarming facts:
  • Every year, approximately 3,000 people lose their lives in home fires, and most of those deaths are among the elderly, the disabled, the low income, and the very young.
  • Home fires account for four of every five fire-related deaths and three of every four fire-related injuries.
  • Many of these deaths may have been prevented if a working smoke detector was in place.
  • More than 90% of homes in the U.S. have smoke detectors, but a third are estimated to have dead or missing batteries.
  • Remember - please turn your clocks ahead on Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 2:00 a.m.!
For more information about smoke detectors, fire safety and developing a home escape plan, contact Fire Marshal Sanchez at the South Walton Fire District, 911 N. CR 393 Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 at 850-267-1298.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
PENSION BOARD
NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING

2011-03-03,

Special Meeting Notice



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD), members of the SWFD Board of Fire Commissioners and members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will meet on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss and take action on an actuary.

For questions or further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298 or email Mark Youngblood, Chairman at mark@rentthebeach.com.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT FIREFIGHTERS
RETIREMENT SYSTEM PENSION BOARD
NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING

2011-03-02,

Special Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss and take action on an actuary.

For questions or further information, please email Mark Youngblood, Chairman at mark@rentthebeach.com.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
NOTICE OF MEETINGS

2011-03-01,

Meeting Notice



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD), members of the SWFD Board of Fire Commissioners and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet on March 18, 2011 at 1:00 p.m., April 7, 2011 at 8:30 a.m., April 21, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. and on May 12, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton- March 1, 2011

2011-03-01,

Prescribed Burn



The Florida Parks Service will be conducting a 43 acre prescribed burn today, March 1, 2011 at Tops'l Park on the south side of Highway 98. The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction out of the north, smoke will be visible in areas of South Walton and will drift to the south. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burn has been completed

For further information or questions, please contact George Royal at 267-8330.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
PENSION BOARD MEETING ATTENDANCE

2011-02-22,

Meeting Notice



The South Walton Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners will be attending the regularly scheduled South Walton Fire District Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board meeting on Monday, February 28, 2011 from 1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.

For questions, please call 850-267-1298.

End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton- February 21, 2011

2011-02-21,

Prescribed Burn



The Division of State Park will be conducting a 97 acre prescribed burn located in Deer Lake State Park N of CR 30A, South Hwy 98 and East of Camp Creek. The burn will take place today between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Due to the prevailing wind direction and atmospheric conditions, smoke should lift and drift to the North West. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

Please contact the Division of Parks at 267-8300 with any questions you may have regarding this prescribed burn.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
MEETING NOTICE - FEBRUARY 28, 2011

2011-02-17,

Meeting Notice



Members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD), members of the SWFD Board of Fire Commissioners and members of the South Walton Professional Firefighters Association (SWPFFA)/Local 3516 will meet on February 28, 2011 from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss contract negotiations between the SWFD and the SWPFFA.

For further information, please call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton- February 17, 2011

2011-02-17,

Prescribed Burn



The Division of Forestry will be conducting a 100 acre prescribed burn North of U.S. Highway 98 / East of Bay Drive in Santa Rosa Beach. The burn will take place today between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction and atmospheric conditions, smoke should lift and drift to the northwest. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

Please contact the Division of Forestry at 850-547-7083 with any questions you may have regarding this prescribed burn.

End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton- February 16, 2011

2011-02-16,

Prescribed Burn



The Division of Forestry will be conducting a 110 acre prescribed burn North of Somerset Bridge Road, East of 395, Point Washington State Park in Santa Rosa Beach. The burn will take place today between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction and atmospheric conditions, smoke should lift and drift to the south west. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

Please contact the Division of Forestry at 850-547-7083 with any questions you may have regarding this prescribed burn.

End



NOTICE OF PUBLIC WORKSHOP
THE SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

2011-02-09,

NOTICE OF PUBLIC WORKSHOP



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a public workshop on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the workshop is to discuss District budget issues/cost saving measures and receive input from the community regarding the 2011-2012 budget year.

For further information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



NOTICE OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
THE SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT
BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

2011-02-09,

NOTICE OF EXECUTIVE SESSION



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Executive Session on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the Executive Session is for the Board to discuss upcoming labor negotiations.

For information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton- January 28, 2011

2011-01-28,

DOF Prescribed Burn



The Division of Forestry will be conducting a 271 acre prescribed burn in the area East of Highway 331 South, West side of Doodle Forest Road, North of Highway 98. The burn will take place today between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing westerly wind direction and atmospheric conditions, smoke should lift and drift to the east. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

Please contact the Division of Forestry at 850-547-7083 with any questions you may have regarding this prescribed burn.

End



SWFD Hosts Patriot Flag Ceremony

2011-01-19,

Patriot Flag



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) was selected as the first fire department in Florida to have the prestigious honor of flying the Patriot Flag. The Patriot Flag program was established by a group of firefighters in California. The goal of this program is to have this flag fly in all 50 states in 50 weeks. It began on September 10, 2010 and the flag will end its tour on September 11, 2011 at the site of the World Trade Center.

The SWFD hoisted the 58 by 30 foot American "Patriot" flag on Monday January 17, 2011. The Patriot Flag is part of a yearlong memorial leading up to the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. "It's a great honor to participate in this program, the Patriot Flag and this entire observance is really dedicated to all those who gave their lives and those who continue to sacrifice in support of freedom. In addition, we have the added distinction that we commemorated sacrifice for the cause of freedom on the day we honor Martin Luther King, who sacrificed his life for civil rights and freedom for all men", said Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief.

For more information concerning the Patriot Flag ceremony please contact Sean Hughes at shughes@swfd.org or 850-267-1298.

End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton- January 13, 2011

2011-01-12,

DOF Prescribed Burn



The Division of Forestry will be conducting a 216 acre prescribed burn in the area north of Somerset Bridge Road in Seagrove, FL. The burn will take place today between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction and atmospheric conditions, smoke should lift and drift to the south. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

Please contact the Division of Forestry at 850-547-7083 with any questions you may have regarding this prescribed burn.

End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton- January 12, 2011

2011-01-12,

DOF Prescribed Burn



The Division of Forestry will be conducting a 340 acre prescribed burn East of Highway 395 and North of the Nature Walk in Santa Rosa Beach. The burn will take place today between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction and atmospheric conditions, smoke should lift and drift to the south. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

Please contact the Division of Forestry at 850-547-7083 with any questions you may have regarding this prescribed burn.

End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton- January 12, 2011

2011-01-12,

State Park Prescirbed Burn



The Florida Parks Service will be conducting a 41 acre prescribed South of Highway 98, across from Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast in Miramar Beach. The burn will take place today between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction and atmospheric conditions, smoke should lift and drift to the south. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed.

Please contact Topsail State Park at 850-267-8330 with any questions you may have regarding this prescribed burn.

End



Patriot Flag Ceremony Update

2011-01-11,

Update



This is an update to the earlier release regarding the Patriot Flag Ceremony. Please note the ceremony agenda below with a change in location.

We welcome our media friends to attend this event honoring those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and those who continue to serve and sacrifice for others.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief (PIO) at 850-267-1298.



End



SWFD Receives Excellent Remarks on State Inspection of EMS Division

2011-01-11,

State EMS Inspection



On Monday, January 10, 2011, the State of Florida, Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, conducted a random, unannounced inspection of the South Walton Fire District's EMS Division. Compliance Officer Shelly Lewis reported the following: Excellence in all phases of the inspections, which include personnel records, service records and facilities inspections, Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Life Support (ALS) Vehicle inspection and equipment test results. Ms. Lewis also included in the report that the citizens and visitors of Walton County and the State of Florida can be proud of this well run, professional service.

"The positive comments received during this extremely important State inspection were definitely part of a team effort and I would like to thank all the members of SWFD for their dedication and support of our mission", said EMS Division Chief Ryan Crawford.

The South Walton Fire District will continue our diligence and preparation to meet the needs of the community in delivering "Prompt, Competent, Caring Response in Time of Need".

For further information, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298.

End



Patriot Flag to Fly at South Walton Fire District

2011-01-05,

Patriot Flag



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) will hoist a 60 by 30 foot American "Patriot" flag at the SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, located a 911 N CR 393 on Monday, January 17, 2011. The Patriot Flag is part of a yearlong memorial leading up to the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001.

The Patriot Flag program was established by a group of firefighters in California. The goal of this program is to have this flag fly in all 50 states in 50 weeks. It began on September 10, 2010 and the flag will end its tour on September 11, 2011 at the site of the World Trade Center.

South Walton was selected as the first community in Florida for the prestigious honor of flying this flag. "It's a great honor to participate in this program, the Patriot Flag and this entire observance is really dedicated to all those who gave their lives and those who continue to sacrifice in support of freedom. In addition, we have the added distinction that we are commemorating sacrifice for the cause of freedom on the day we honor Martin Luther King, who sacrificed his life for civil rights and freedom for all men", said Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief.

The SWFD will suspend the flag from its ladder truck beginning at 10:00 a.m. The SWFD is welcoming all the members of our community to join us to honor, remember and commemorate all who serve and sacrifice in the name of freedom.

For more information concerning the Patriot Flag ceremony please contact Sean Hughes at shughes@swfd.org or 850-267-1298.

End



SWFD BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

AUDIT COMMITTEE MEETING

2011-01-05,

MEETING NOTICE



The The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Audit Committee meeting on Monday, January 24, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to review the Fiscal Year 2009-2010 Financial Statements and Supplemental Information provided by O'Sullivan Creel, Certified Public Accountants and Consultants.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.

End



SWFD FIREFIGHTER'S RETIREMENT SYSTEM

PENSION BOARD - NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING

2011-01-04,

SPECIAL MEETING



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Firefighters Retirement System Pension Board will hold a special meeting on Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 5:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at South Walton Fire District Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to review investment options for the retirement plan.

For further information, please contact the SWFD at 850-267-1298.

End



New Year's Eve Fireworks Safety Message

2010-12-28,

Fireworks Safety



Welcoming the New Year with a night sky full of colorful fireworks is a common South Walton tradition. The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) would like to encourage our citizens and visitors to also "celebrate safety" and adhere to the following safety tips.

Under Florida law, only novelty-type fireworks are legal for consumer use. Anyone using fireworks, which include shells and mortars, multiple tube devices, roman candles, rockets and firecrackers, must have a permit. Without a permit, it is illegal in Florida to use fireworks. Locals and visitors should not sign "waivers" in order to purchase fireworks. Signing a waiver will not clear you of the responsibility for the illegal use of fireworks, which is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Those travelling to our area from out of state are reminded by billboards to make a "last stop" for legal fireworks before you enter Florida. What they don't advertise; however, is that many of the devices sold are not legal in our state.

"The largest fire in South Walton's recent history took place this past October at the Sandestin Hilton Resort. The cause of this fire was determined to be the illegal use of fireworks by an occupant staying at the hotel", says Sean Hughes, Deputy Fire Chief and the Fire District's Public Information Officer.

SWFD encourages everyone to enjoy a public fireworks display as a safe alternative to lighting fireworks at home. If you or your family has any questions concerning fireworks and their safe use, please contact the South Walton Fire District at 850-267-1298.

End



Brush Fire in South Walton

2010-12-27,

Brush Fire



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) is currently on scene at an approximately three (3) acre brush fire located in the vicinity of Highway 98 and Hunter's Road in Santa Rosa Beach.

In spite of strong winds from the west and rapid fire growth, the SWFD crews have quickly brought the fire under control. The fire's proximity to Highway 98 has necessitated the closing of the eastbound lanes.

If you are in this area, please use caution while driving.

If you have any questions, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298.

End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton- December 15, 2010

2010-12-15,

Prescribed Burn



The Division of Forestry will be conducting a 200 acre prescribed burn at the corner of Highway 98 West and Highway 283 in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. The burn will take place today between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction and atmospheric conditions, smoke should lift and drift to the northwest. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

Please contact the Division of Forestry at 850-547-7083 with any questions you may have regarding this prescribed burn.

End



SWFD ANGEL TREE THANK YOU!

2010-12-13,

Angel Tree



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) would like to thank the members of our community for making the 9th year of our SWFD/Caring and Sharing of North Walton Angel Tree a heartwarming success.

This year all 238 angels were adopted through the generosity of our citizens and our Fire District members. Our Fire District works together each year with our community members to help make this event a success. Special thanks go to each and every person who contributed and to the South Walton Professional Firefighter Association-Local 3516 for their donation of bicycle helmets. We are fortunate to live in an area where so many give their time and effort to this charitable cause.

The SWFD would like to extend their wishes to everyone for a peaceful and safe holiday season.

For further information please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief, South Walton Fire District at 850-267-1298.



End



Fire Department Access in South Walton

2010-12-10,

Access



In a business where seconds can truly make the difference between "life and death", any obstructions impeding access for the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) can present dire consequences. That being the case, the SWFD has been encouraging commercial property owners to utilize a rapid entry system to provide a means for non-destructive emergency access to commercial buildings. In order to access business buildings quickly, minimize forced entry damage, and protect firefighters from injury, the SWFD has adopted this system. The system, known as the Knox Box Rapid Entry System, provides a standardized and secured means to access properties without unnecessary delay or damage.

The SWFD has recently expanded the system to include security gates, as well as building access. "With the expansion of our program to include security gates, we would like to thank both Rosemary Beach and Sandestin Resort for their support of community safety by equipping all their security gates with the Knox-Box system", said Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal. "Do you have business buildings or property in South Walton secured by locked doors or a gate? You can prevent unnecessary damage to your building or gate in the event of an emergency by participating in this program. The inexpensive system can give the SWFD emergency access while giving you peace of mind that your property is secure", said Sanchez.

SWFD personnel are available to discuss this system and answer any questions that local businesses, property owners, property managers and/or homeowner associations may have. Please do not hesitate to contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal at 850-267-1298 or via email at ssanchez@swfd.org to schedule a meeting or to join the system and obtain a Knox Box order form.

End



Third Annual "Elf Ride" a Great Success!

2010-12-09,

Elf Ride



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) would like to thank the members of our community who made the Third Annual "Elf Ride" a great success this past Sunday, December 5, 2010.

The annual Elf Ride benefits the SWFD/Caring & Sharing of North Walton Angel Tree and originated three years ago through the efforts and inspiration of Luke Thompson, a local young man and resident.

Each year, parents and children gather at the Seaside Post Office with special gifts for angel tree children and ride their decorated bicycles to SWFD Station 2/WaterColor for refreshments and tours of the fire trucks and station. This year approximately 25 brave community members weathered the wind and cold temperatures to attend a very worthwhile cause.

The SWFD is so grateful to our community who work together to make this event a great success. We would also like to thank the Seaside Stores for their participation in providing the refreshments and "Santa's golf cart".

For further information, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298 or contact the SWFD at info@swfd.org.



End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton

2010-12-08,

Prescribed Burn



The Division of Forestry will be conducting a 184 acre prescribed burn east of Highway 395 and south of Highway 98 in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. The burn will take place today between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction and atmospheric conditions, smoke should lift and drift to the west. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

Please contact the Division of Forestry at 850-547-7083 with any questions you may have regarding this prescribed burn.

End



Beach Bonfires in South Walton

2010-12-07,

Beach Bonfires



A beach bonfire is a time-honored tradition that South Walton residents and visitors enjoy as the sun goes down over a perfect South Walton beach evening. On December 6, 2010, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners adopted an Ordinance that assumes responsibility and permitting for beach bonfires.

The Beach Bonfire Ordinance closely mirrors the previous County Ordinance on Beach Bonfires and establishes a procedure for requesting a permit, a fee structure and guidelines for conducting a beach bonfire.

"The SWFD feels it is a natural fit that we have some oversight and awareness of open burning taking place in South Walton, in particular on our beaches", said Rick Talbert, Fire Chief.

Anyone seeking to obtain a beach bonfire permit must come to the SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, located at 911 N. CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and complete a Temporary Beach Bonfire Permit Application, which requires a $50.00 fee (cash or check only).

"The beaches of South Walton provide the perfect settings for birthday and graduation parties, end of day summer barbecues and uniquely coastal Thanksgiving celebrations that include bonfires. The SWFD wants to ensure that these gatherings are safe and only leave fond memories and footprints in the sand", said Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief.

For more information concerning beach bonfires contact Fire Marshal Sammy Sanchez at 850-267-1298 or email at info@swfd.org.

End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton

2010-12-07,

Prescribed Burn



The Florida Division of State Parks will be conducting a 27 acre prescribed burn northwest of Campbell Lake at Topsail Hill State Preserve in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. The burn will take place today between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction and atmospheric conditions, smoke should lift and drift to the south. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

Please contact the Division of State Parks with any questions you may have regarding this prescribed burn.

End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton

2010-12-02,

Prescribed Burn



The Division of Forestry will be conducting a 75 acre prescribed burn east of Highway 395 and south of Highway 98 in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. The burn will take place today between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction and atmospheric conditions, smoke should lift and drift to the south. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

Please contact the Division of Forestry with any questions you may have regarding this prescribed burn.

End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton

2010-12-01,

Prescribed Burn



The Florida Division of State Parks will be conducting a 16 acre prescribed burn located Northwest of Campbell Lake, which is located at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. The burn will take place today between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction and atmospheric conditions, smoke should lift and drift to the southeast. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

The local contact number regarding this prescribed burn is 850-267-8330. Please contact this number with any questions you may have.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
AUDIT COMMITTEE MEETING

2010-11-30,

MEETING



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Audit Committee meeting on Friday, December 10, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to review and discuss the draft Whistleblower Policy, as well as the sample policy provided by Kevin Bowyer with O'Sullivan-Creel.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.

End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT FIREFIGHTERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM

2010-11-30,

BOARD MEETINGS 2011



FEBRUARY 28, 2011 1:30 P.M.
JUNE 1, 2011 8:00 P.M. **
AUGUST 29, 2011 2:30 P.M.
NOVEMBER 28, 2011 2:30 P.M.

All meetings will be held at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters,
911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach FL 32459
unless otherwise notified by posting a change of location.

**Please note that the June 1, 2011 meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. due to the Memorial Day holiday.

Any person(s) who wish to be placed on the agenda must contact Mark Youngblood, Chairman at 850-267-1298 within fifteen (15) days of any meeting and provide the name of the person who will be speaking and the subject to be addressed.


End



South Walton Fire District Receives Federal Grant

2010-11-30,

Federal Grant


The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) is excited and pleased to announce that they received notice on Friday, November 29, 2010 of the 2010 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) Award. Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

The SWFD's grant request was to replace four outdated cardiac monitors. Currently, the SWFD has ten cardiac monitors/defibrillators in service. The SWFD's grant request asked that the current Lifepak 12 models be replaced with Lifepak 15 models, the most advanced pre-hospital cardiac monitoring available, which will include carbon monoxide exposure monitoring, an important tool in firefighter rehabilitation and safety.

"The cost of a single cardiac monitor, including support accessories, is $27,550.70, for a total grant request of $110,202.80. The requested equipment will be placed in service on our 4 Advanced Life Support ambulances. The SWFD is committed during this current economy to providing the best possible service while containing costs. Through programs such as the AFG, the SWFD is able to accomplish this goal", said Ryan Crawford, EMS Division Chief and grant author.

For more information please contact Ryan Crawford, EMS Division Chief at rcrawford@swfd.org, or call 850-267-1298.


End



Fatal Accident Closes 331 Bridge

2010-11-26,

Accident


The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call at 9:50am from the Freeport Fire Department requesting assistance at a traffic accident on the Clyde B. Wells Bridge (331 bridge) involving three vehicles with people trapped. SWFD crews arrived to find two of the vehicles with major damage, requiring occupants of each to be extricated.

All occupant were extricated, four total, with the SWFD transporting three patients to Sacred Heart Hospital, one in cardiac arrest. The fourth patient was transported from the scene by helicopter. The Walton County Sheriff's office and Florida Highway Patrol remain on scene investigating the accident and anticipate the bridge to be closed for a couple more hours.

For more information contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at shughes@swfd.org or call 850-267-1268.


End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton Today - 11/22/2010

2010-11-22,

Prescribed Burn


The Florida Division of State Parks will be conducting a 103 acre prescribed burn at Deer Lake State Park located at 6721 Highway 30-A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459, 1 mile east of the AEC power lines in Seagrove and three quarters of a mile north of Highway 30-A. The burn will take place today between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction and atmospheric conditions, smoke should lift and drift to the northwest. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

The local contact number regarding this prescribed burn is 850-258-9724. Please contact this number with any questions you may have.


End



SWFD 3rd Annual Elf Ride

2010-11-18,

Elf Ride







End



Rollover Accident Causes Traffic Delays

2010-11-10,

Accident



At 1:50 p.m. this afternoon, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) responded to a multi-vehicle accident at 12754 Highway 98 West, Miramar Beach. The accident involved three vehicles with one vehicle ending up on its roof. There were two patients, one was entrapped and required extrication. The vehicles were stabilized to ensure the safety of the entrapped passenger, prior to SWFD crews performing patient removal. The patient was successfully extricated and transported to Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast.

Traffic was delayed for approximately forty-five (45) minutes while SWFD firefighters performed their work.

The SWFD would like to remind our community members and visitors to exercise caution while you are traveling our highways; particularly as we enter the holiday season.

For further information, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298.


End



ANGEL TREE AT SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT

2010-11-10,

Angel Tree




The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) has the honor and privilege of hosting the Caring and Sharing of North Walton "Angel Tree" each year during the holiday season benefiting children from ages 1 month to 12 years who live in Walton County.

"Angels" will be available for you to select beginning Friday, November 19, 2010 from 9:00 a.m-4:00 p.m. at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 North CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach. This year the Fire District will receive over 200 angel names from our friends at Caring and Sharing of North Walton.

Gifts may be returned to Station 3/Headquarters before Wednesday, December 15, 2010, either wrapped or unwrapped, but preferably in a gift bag.

Please reach into your heart and stop by our fire station to choose your own special child or family and help make the holidays happier for our area children.

For more information or to schedule a special time arrangement to select an angel name, please contact Diane Brown, Executive Assistant at Station 3/Headquarters, 850-267-1298, or via email at dbrown@swfd.org.


End



Grease Fire Causes Burns

2010-11-08,

Fire



On Sunday November 7, 2010 at 3:12 p.m., the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call reporting a kitchen fire. When crews arrived on scene a few minutes later they discovered that although the fire was out the home was filled with smoke and the occupant had received burns from hot grease. The patient was treated for burns and transported to Sacred Heart of the Emerald Coast Hospital for further evaluation. The home was ventilated to remove the smoke. The grease fire also caused minor damage to the cabinets above the stove.

Inattentive cooking is the number one cause of fires in homes with the leading source of ignition being grease/cooking oil. Grease fires occur when oil or greasy foods are heated and ignite. With the holiday season approaching, the SWFD urges the cooks to follow these few simple tips to prevent your grease from igniting;

  • Heat oil slowly, the quickest way for grease to catch fire is for it to be heated too quickly.
  • Never leave anything with any kind of grease unattended on the stove
  • Keep liquids away from oil that is heating. If water spills into a pan of hot grease, it will turn into steam immediately which will violently spew out hot grease.

Should you experience a grease fire, the simplest way to extinguish the fire is to carefully slide a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner, don't move the pan, and keep the lid on until the pan cools completely. Never put water on a grease fire. Water causes the grease to splatter and the fire to spread. Also, never attempt to take a grease fire outdoors. It will be too hot to carry and you will drop it or slosh the burning grease causing burns to you or igniting other materials.

For more information please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at shughes@swfd.org or 850-267-1298.


End



Change your Clocks / Change your Batteries!

2010-11-01,

Smoke Alarms



For 12 years, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) has participated in the International Association of Fire Chiefs' campaign "Change your Clock -Change your Battery", reminding citizens to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when they change their clocks this Sunday, November 7, 2010.

"Smoke Alarms - A Sound You Can Live With!" SWFD is so committed to this belief that the Fire District will install and replace batteries in smoke detectors for South Walton residents who are senior citizens, disabled, or families in need, at no charge. Remember, the life of a smoke detector is 10 years. If your detector is 10 years old or older, it should be replaced.

Some alarming facts:

  • Every year, approximately 3,000 people lose their lives in home fires, and most of those deaths are among the elderly, the disabled, the low income, and the very young.
  • Home fires account for four of every five fire-related deaths and three of every four fire-related injuries.
  • Many of these deaths may have been prevented if a working smoke detector was in place.
  • More than 90% of homes in the U.S. have smoke detectors, but a third are estimated to have dead or missing batteries.
  • Remember - please turn your clocks back on Sunday, November 7, 2010 at 2:00 a.m.!


For more information about smoke detectors, fire safety and developing a home escape plan, contact Fire Marshal Sanchez at the South Walton Fire District, 911 N. CR 393 Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 at 850-267-1298 .


End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

2010-10-28,

AUDIT COMMITTEE MEETING



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold an Audit Committee meeting on Friday, November 19, 2010 at 3:30 p.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the Fiscal Year 2010 audit with the District's external auditors.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this meeting.


End



Hilton Sandestin Hosts SWFD Appreciation Luncheon

2010-10-22,

Luncheon



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) was again assembled at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, only this time there was no sense of urgency. The Hilton was hosting an appreciation luncheon for the SWFD and neighboring fire departments that assisted with the fire at the resort in the early morning hours of October 3rd.

"We are very honored by the generosity of the Hilton management and staff for hosting a luncheon to say thanks for our recent efforts during the fire. SWFD crews and our neighboring departments that assisted that night performed superbly. While that level of performance is expected by both the SWFD and the members of the community we serve, this fire stands as a testament to the men and women of the SWFD for their level of commitment and professionalism in meeting that high standard of service, day in and day out", said Rick Talbert, Fire Chief.

"The SWFD would like to thank the Hilton staff first for all their assistance during the emergency. It was readily apparent that the Hilton staff was trained and had practiced how to deal with emergencies on the resort. They provided invaluable assistance to our efforts in fighting the fire. Secondly, we would like to thank them for this gracious gesture by hosting this luncheon to recognize the efforts of our firefighters", said Talbert.

For more information please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at shughes@swfd.org or 850-267-1298.


End



Halloween Fire Safety

2010-10-21,

Halloween



Halloween is an exciting and festive time for children and adults. Halloween Parties, Trick or Treating, Fall Festivals and Haunted Houses are all enjoyable. However, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) wants to remind you to not let your guard down when it comes to safety.

We all think about the obvious when Trick or Treating: check the candy before eating, carry a flashlight, wear reflective or bright colors, don't accept rides from stranger, etc. Yes, these are correct and we should adhere to these safety measures; but, there is more to overall safety than just these precautions.

The SWFD wants to remind motorists to strive for the safe operation of their vehicle; watch out for pedestrians and slow down. If you are driving children around a neighborhood have them exit and re-enter the vehicle only at the curbside. If you are the driver, refrain from wearing a mask or costume that could obscure your vision and ensure you put the vehicle in park before passengers exit and enter. Not to leave out the adult ghouls and goblins, if you participate in Halloween activities or adult parties, please designate a driver.

For additional information, please contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal at ssanchez@swfd.org or 850-267-1298.

CLICK HERE

for the Safety Tips.

SAFETY TIPS


CLICK HERE

for our area's Halloween weekend events.



End



Man Ejected in Single Vehicle Accident

2010-10-18,

Vehicle Accident



On Sunday, October 17, 2010 at approximately 8:00 p.m. the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) responded to a report of a single vehicle accident with possible ejection. SWFD crews from Station 5/Miramar Beach responded to the accident located at 11225 Hwy 98 W and found a pickup truck with significant damage. The driver was located approximately 50 yards from where the vehicle came to rest. Eyewitness accounts said the truck began to flip and the driver was ejected from the vehicle.

After their assessment of the patient, SWFD crews determined that the injuries were fatal. The accident scene was then turned over to Walton County Sheriff Office and Florida Highway Patrol.

SWFD wants to remind our citizens and visitors to please remember to buckle up every time you get in your vehicle. A seat belt can save a life in a car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 15,000 lives are saved each year in the United States because drivers and their passengers were wearing seat belts when they were in accidents.

For more information please contact Deputy Chief Sean Hughes shughes@swfd.org or call 850-267-1298.


End



Brushfire Threatens Homes

2010-10-18,

Fire



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call yesterday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. reporting a brush fire at a wooded area behind 456 Loblolly Court, growing rapidly and threatening homes. SWFD crews from SWFD Station 4/Mack Bayou Road arrived minutes later to find a substantial body of fire threatening three homes. SWFD firefighters quickly deployed their lines and began attacking the main body of the fire.

Additional SWFD crews arrived and positioned themselves north of the fire protecting homes on Driftwood Road. The combined efforts of SWFD crews rapidly brought the fire under control and with their swift actions; none of the threatened homes were damaged.

The cause of the fire was determined to be coals from a charcoal grill, which were improperly disposed of. To ensure your next barbecue doesn't go up in flames, the SWFD offers the following safety tips:

  • Designate the grilling area a "No Play Zone", keeping kids and pets well away until grill equipment is completely cool.

  • Before using, position your grill at least 3 feet away from other objects, including the house and any shrubs or bushes.

  • Charcoal should be left in the grill until cold to the touch or thoroughly soaked in water before disposal.

  • Only use starter fluid made for barbecue grills when starting a fire in a charcoal grill.

  • Do not wear loose clothing while cooking.

  • Never bring a barbecue grill indoors, or into any unventilated space. This is both a fire and carbon monoxide poisoning hazard.

For more information about grill safety contact Fire Marshal Sanchez at ssanchez@swfd.org or call 850-267-1268.






End



SWFD Receives Donation for Junior Lifeguard Program

2010-10-12,

Donation



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) was the proud recipient of a $2,000.00 check from YOLO Board benefitting the SWFD Junior Lifeguard Program. The check represents the proceeds from a silent auction held as part of the festivities during the 2nd Annual Seaside Celebration sponsored by YOLO Board on September 18, 2010.

YOLO Board is a local company based in Santa Rosa Beach that specializes in stand up paddleboard (SUP) manufacturing and the coastal lifestyle, following their free-spirited philosophy of, You Only Live Once (YOLO). "We are very excited that Jeff and Mitzi Archer, along with Tom Losse and the rest of the YOLO team, took such and interest and put forth such an effort to support the SWFD Junior Lifeguard Program", said Gary Wise, Beach Safety Director. "We have had a tough season with the negative impact of the oil spill on our community and this support comes as a great gift which will help us develop our program to even greater heights", said Wise.

With next season on the horizon, the SWFD is already preparing and developing enhancements for the Junior Lifeguard Program and the support will go a long way to help those efforts.

For further information, please contact Deputy Chief Hughes at 850-267-1298 .






End



Home Burns in South Walton

2010-10-08,

Fire

At 3:40 a.m. this morning, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call reporting a home located at 249 Plantation Circle was fully engulfed in fire. SWFD crews arrived a few minutes later to find flames venting from the windows on the second and third floors of the three story home. Crews quickly placed hose lines in operation to protect the neighboring home from the flames.

The home was occupied at the time by a father and his two children, who were able to escape and report the fire. Unfortunately, the family's dog and cat were unable to escape.

Due to the size and advanced stage of the fire, crews initially took a defensive posture to attack the fire. Once ladder truck crews had knocked down the flames, they were able to extinguish the remaining fire.

The SWFD Fire Marshal in conjunction with the State Fire Marshal's Office is currently on scene investigating the cause and origin of the fire.

For further information, please contact Deputy Chief Sean Hughes at 850-267-1298.










End



Fall Season Fire Safety Tips from South Walton Fire District

2010-10-08,

Fire Safety



The SWFD would like to share the following "Fall Season Fire Safety Tips" with the members of our community. As the weather turns cooler, most people spend more time inside their homes using fireplaces, furnaces, and heaters to keep warm and outdoors there is a continuing increase in popularity for fire pits and chimeneas.

  • Make sure your home heating system is in good working order before the cold weather sets in.
  • Have chimneys cleaned and heating systems inspected.
  • Use a fireplace screen to keep sparks from flying out of the fireplace. This applies to both indoor and outdoor fireplaces.
  • Allow at least three feet of empty area (safety zone) around space heaters and fireplaces (inside or outside).
  • Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Insure the damper in the chimney is open before lighting a fire in the fireplace.
  • Never leave a burning fire (inside or outside) unattended.
  • Make sure a fire in a fireplace (inside or outside) is completely out before going to bed.
  • Never use your stove or oven to heat your home.


Using good sense and following theses fire safety tips will keep you and your loved ones safe this fall season. If you have a specific question, require additional fall fire safety tips, or are interested in general fire prevention strategies, please contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal 850-267-1298 or email your question to info@swfd.org.


End



SWFD Flu Vaccination Program

2010-10-07,

Vaccinations



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program was developed as part of the SWFD ongoing commitment to their Vision of "Continually improve the safety and wellbeing of our community".

Beginning Friday, October 15, 2010, SWFD Paramedics will begin providing seasonal influenza vaccinations to members of our community at all SWFD fire stations. Vaccinations will be available six (6) days a week, Monday through Saturday, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

"I am very excited that we are able to provide this valuable and convenient service to the members of our community," said Ryan Crawford, EMS Division Chief. "I strongly encourage members of our community to take advantage of the vaccination program's preventative measure; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

SWFD will require payment of $20.00 prior to the administration of vaccinations and specific documentation must be completed by the individual being vaccinated. SWFD will require one (1) of the following two (2) forms of payment:

  • Medicare Part B; or,

  • A personal check made payable to the South Walton Fire District.

Should you have any questions regarding the times, locations, or payment requirements, please contact Ryan Crawford, EMS Division Chief at 850-267-1298 or rcrawford@swfd.org.


End



Fire at the Hilton Sandestin Resort

2010-10-03,

FIRE



The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call at 12:15 AM this morning from the Hilton Sandestin Resort. The caller was reporting a large fire in the deck area adjacent to the beach. SWFD crews arrived shortly after being dispatched, to find the entire deck area, including the Barefoots Beachside Bar & Grill fully involved in fire with the flames impinging on the hotel structure.

SWFD crews quickly began an aggressive attack on the fire from the interior of the building stopping the fire from entering the East tower of the structure. Simultaneously other crews were stretching lines through the lobby, across the pool deck to attack the burning bar and grill and beach side deck. "If it was not for the prompt actions of the first arriving crews, this fire would have ignited the Hilton structure itself. The rapid deployment of hose lines and aggressive fire attack saved this from being much worse" said Sean Hughes, Deputy Fire Chief.

The SWFD called for a second and third alarm to bring additional firefighters to the scene to assist with the firefighting. Units from Destin, Freeport and North Bay all sent units and firefighters; all told, there were 41 firefighters and 17 units on scene battling the blaze. "We would like to thank our neighboring fire department and Walton County Sheriff Office for all their support this morning: said Hughes.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal's Office

For more information contact Deputy Chief Sean Hughes at shughes@swfd.org or 267-1298.


End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS

2010-09-30,

BOARD MEETINGS – 2011



JANUARY 3, 2011
FEBRUARY 7, 2011
MARCH 7, 2011
APRIL 4, 2011
MAY 2, 2011
JUNE 6, 2011
JULY 11, 2011
AUGUST 1, 2011
SEPTEMBER 12, 2011
OCTOBER 3, 2011
NOVEMBER 7, 2011
DECEMBER 5, 2011

All meetings are held at 4:00 p.m.
911 N CR 393 / Station 3 Headquarters
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

*Note: Persons who wish to be placed on the agenda must contact the Executive Assistant within two days of any meeting and provide the name of the person who will be speaking and the subject to be addressed.

If a person decides to appeal any decision made by the South Walton Fire District’s Board of Fire Commissioners with respect to any matter considered at such meeting or hearing, will need a record of the proceedings and that for such purpose may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.


End



Fire Prevention Week - October 3-9, 2010

2010-09-28,

Fire Prevention



In an effort to better educate communities throughout the U.S. about smoke alarm recommendations, the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is promoting "Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With!" as the theme for this year's Fire Prevention Week campaign, October 3-9, which South Walton Fire District (SWFD) is supporting locally. NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week for 88 years.

SWFD will be concentrating their efforts on promoting fire safety and prevention and offers the following tips for making sure smoke alarms are maintained and working properly:

  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button, and make sure everyone in your home knows their sound.
  • If an alarm "chirps", warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10 year batteries and hard-wired alarms when they are 10 years old (or sooner) if they do not respond properly when tested.
  • Never remove or disable a smoke alarm.
SWFD would like to remind our citizens to please contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal for any smoke alarm questions or concerns.

To contact Fire Marshal Sanchez or for more information, please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.



End



SWFD Fire Board Adopts FY 2010-2011 Budget

2010-09-27,

Budget



On Tuesday September 21, 2010 at 5:08 p.m. the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners, during the final public budget hearing, unanimously approved the Fiscal Year 2010-2011budget.

In preparing this budget, which begins October 1, 2010, SWFD has considered and explored an array of options to find a balance between providing needed fire/EMS services for the Fire District and dwindling revenues. "We began the budget build process in April, meeting with all our key stakeholders looking for creativity in finding cost saving measures.", said Rick Talbert, SWFD's Fire Chief/Administrator.

After a thorough review of each operational line item, the District has reduced operational costs by 8%. This reduction is in addition to the 17% reduction in operating costs that the District was able to achieve in FY2009-10. Unfortunately, these reductions made an impact, but did not completely close the gap needed to present a balanced budget.

During the June Board of Commissioners meeting, the Board directed Fire Chief Rick Talbert to curb overtime spending. Chief Talbert and staff recommended a belt-tightening measure known as "Adaptive Staffing." Under this plan, one of the District's four rescues (ambulances) will be shut down when staffing levels drop below the five personnel allowed off per shift. "Currently we recall personnel and pay overtime when additional firefighters call in off work. In these instances we will take a rescue off line until the staffing level returns to a level to support bringing it back on line without the additional costs.", said Sean Hughes, Deputy Fire Chief. Chief Talbert estimates that the District could realize approximately $270,000 in reduced overtime costs.

"After considering all the options, we feel this is a workable solution," Hughes said. "There are concerns with taking a rescue out of service; however, they are minimized, in part, by the fact that over the years we have been able to bring the response capabilities on all of our fire trucks to the same Advance Life Support (ALS) level of our rescues."

In addition to the above cost saving measures, the Fire District has also employed other cost saving measures, and has been able to generate two million dollars outside of tax revenue. Cost recovery for EMS support to BP Oil Spill cleanup efforts played a part in this total. "The SWFD was the only fire/rescue agency to enter into a contract with BP to provide the required EMS support for their cleanup efforts. I am proud of the ingenuity of our leadership team in securing this contract. It is the creative approach to our fiscal stewardship that is needed in these tough economic times," said Talbert.

The final piece to bring the budget into balance was the utilization of the District's Contingency Reserves. Since the creation of the reserve, this is the first instance where the SWFD Fire Board has had to use this fund. "With our current economic forecast, this unfortunately may not be the last. We are fortunate that the Fire Board had the fiscal forethought to create and build our reserves past budgets," said Talbert.

For further information, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298 .



End



South Walton Fire District Concludes 2010 Lifeguard Season

2010-09-22,

Lifeguards



With the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) professional beach lifeguard season ending this Sunday, September 26, 2010, Beach Safety Director Gary Wise, "Urges beach goers to heed the beach flag warning system and use good sense when deciding to enter the Gulf of Mexico." Lifeguards have been supervising the beaches from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily since March. "Since the Beach Safety and Education Program began 5 years ago, there has not been a drowning at a lifeguard supervised beach during lifeguard scheduled hours", said Wise.

This lifeguard season presented a new and unique challenge to SWFD Lifeguards. Any trip to the beach involves possible hazards, including rip currents, stormy weather, and high concentrations of marine life such as jellyfish and sharks. But this was the season of the BP Oil Spill, which added a new and greatly misunderstood potential hazard to that list. "We place the emphasis of our program on public education and prevention. Our lifeguards have made 134,338 public contacts, resulting in 10,098 preventative actions and conducted 120 oil related actions, giving us an opportunity to provide the latest and most accurate information associated with the oil spill", said Sean Hughes, Deputy Fire Chief.

A skeleton crew of lifeguards will continue supervising the beaches of South Walton during October. In addition they will be demobilizing the eight lifeguard towers and equipment from the beach for post season maintenance until the 2011 Lifeguard Season begins again the second week in March 2011. Know the beach and understand and heed the beach flag warnings. Daily surf conditions and beach safety related information is still available at www.swfd.org or visit the Fire District's Facebook Page: South Walton Fire District.

For further information, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298.



End



NOTICE OF BUDGET HEARING

2010-09-16,

Notice

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) has tentatively adopted a budget for Fiscal Year 2010-2011.

A public hearing to make a FINAL DECISION on the budget AND TAXES will be held on:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

5:01 P.M.

at

SWFD Headquarters, 911 N County Road 393

Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459



End



Artists at Gulf Place 3rd Annual Fence of Flags

2010-09-09,

Flags

The Artists at Gulf Place will be hosting the 3rd Annual "Fence of Flags" on September 11, 2010 with the proceeds from this event donated to the South Walton Fire District (SWFD).

Flags can be painted, colored, drawn, sewn, etc., on any type of canvas. Use your imagination and take this opportunity to be creative. We need our local citizens to support the SWFD by donating your own Art Flag. Please include your name on the back of your flag. Flags may be dropped off at Artists at Gulf Place or call Wendy Price, Event Coordinator, for pickup at 850-974-1452. You may also email Wendy at wendyprentice@earthlink.net

"For the Artists at Gulf Place to again offer their support to the SWFD is a wonderful gesture and we appreciate their generosity", said Deputy Chief Hughes. The South Walton Fire District will utilize all proceeds for our Fire/Life Safety Division, which offers fire/life safety education to our citizens from infants to seniors.

The South Walton Fire District is encouraging our local community to come out on Saturday September 11, 2010 from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and show your support for our local Artists at Gulf Place and in turn, their support of the SWFD, their fire department. If you cannot attend this weekend, please note that these flags will remain on sale at the Gulf Place location until they are all sold.

For more information, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298 or Wendy Prentice, Resident Artist at Gulf Place at 850-974-1452.


End



Weekend Storms Ignite Two House Fires in South Walton

2010-08-23,

Fires

South Walton experienced spectacular thunder and lightning storms this past weekend. While these storms offer an impressive display of Mother Nature's power, they bring a very real danger to homeowners. On two separate occasions homes were struck by lightning and ignited.

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received the first call on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.; alerting crews that a residence located at 58 Indiangrass Lane had been struck by lightning and was filling with smoke. SWFD crews arrived on scene moments later to find smoke coming from the roof. Crews were able to quickly make entry to the home and access the fire that was located in the attic. As a result of the swift actions of SWFD firefighters, the home was saved and damage was kept to a minimum. One SWFD firefighter received minor injuries while battling the blaze and no civilian injuries were sustained.

On Sunday, at 2:51 p.m., the SWFD received an all too familiar call that a home, located at 98 Garfield Street, Grayton Beach, had been struck by lightning and was now on fire. Crews arrived to find smoke coming from the roof of the house. No one was home at the time. SWFD firefighters were able to gain entry into the home and locate the fire in the attic above a rear bedroom. Rapidly gaining access to the attic area, the attack crew was able to extinguish the fire. As that was taking place, additional crews were consolidating and covering the furniture to protect it from the fire and firefighting activities. Through the prompt and competent response of the SWFD, the home was saved and damages were kept to a minimum.

Living in Florida, commonly referred to as the "Lightning Capital of the World", home and business owners may want to consider installing a lightning-protection system. These systems can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $4,500 to protect a private home, and up to $70,000 to protect a high-rise building, according to the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI). Lightning-protection systems provide a designated path for the lightning current to travel and should be installed by specially training professionals. It neither attracts nor repels a lightning strike, but simply intercepts it and guides it harmlessly to the ground.

For further information, please contact Deputy Chief Sean Hughes at 850-267-1298.


End



Afternoon Storm Starts 2 House Fires in South Walton

2010-08-09,

Fires

A late afternoon thunderstorm brought about an outbreak of house fires in Santa Rosa Beach on Sunday, August 8, 2010. The spectacular lightning associated with the storm struck two separate houses, igniting them on fire. The first call was received by the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) call center at 4:43 p.m., with a report that lightning had struck a home at 176 Plantation Way and started the attic on fire. As SWFD crews were arriving on scene, a second call was received at 4:55 p.m., reporting a house on fire at 42 Pine Tree Way.

The South Walton Fire District, with assistance from Destin and Freeport Fire Departments, were able to quickly bring both fires under control and keep damage to a minimum. While combating the blaze, one firefighter was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital for minor injuries and later released. While the SWFD crews were battling these fires, the District was still positioned to respond to and handle three medical calls and one motor vehicle accident that came in during this time.

"The situation that developed yesterday is a prime example of how our staffing, although stretched thin, with assistance from our neighboring departments, is able to handle significant calls (with regard to resource commitment) and multiple other requests for assistance concurrently", said Sean Hughes, Deputy Fire Chief. "Our firefighters did an excellent job yesterday".

For further information, please contact Deputy Chief Sean Hughes at SWFD Headquarters, 850-267-1298.


End



Back to School Safety

2010-08-09,

Safety

As the school year begins this Thursday, August 12, 2010, drivers will once again be encountering children commuting to school, some for their very first time. The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) would like to encourage motorists to be especially alert for children, particularly in and around school zones.

In an effort to raise driver awareness that children and school buses will once again be part of weekday traffic, the SWFD will assist by providing "visual reminders" at several school locations.

  • Eden's Landing off of Hwy 395 near (Bay Elementary School)
  • 30-A near Smolian Circle (Seaside Neighborhood School)
  • South Walton High School off of Highway 331
  • 30-A on right away across Butler Elementary
The SWFD would also like to provide a few safe driving tips to assist motorists in keeping the roadways safe for our children this school year, as more drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists will resume sharing the road during this busy back-to-school season:

  • Scan between parked cars and other objects for signs that children could dart into the road.
  • Eliminate distractions. Taking your eyes off the road for two seconds doubles your chance of being involved in a crash. Avoid engaging in distracting behavior.
  • Plan ahead. Leave early for your destination and allow extra time for congestion. Modify your route to avoid school zones and traffic, if possible.
  • Drop children off on school property.
  • Remember, school zones are non-passing zones. Doing so is not only dangerous, but also against the law.
  • Always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading students.
For further information, please contact Deputy Chief Hughes at SWFD Headquarters, 850-267-1298.


End



Local Mom Receives SWFD Lifesaving Award

2010-08-04,

Award

Last night at the regularly scheduled South Walton Fire District (SWFD) a local mother of four was recognized by the South Walton Fire District for saving the life of a 3 year old child that was drowning in a pool.

On June 29, 2010, the SWFD responded to a drowning call at Camp Watercolor. Mrs. Laura Trudey, was in the pool enjoying the water with her 4 young children, when she noticed a young boy floating face down in the water. Mrs. Trudey immediately pulled the child from the water; the child was blue and not breathing. Without delay Mrs. Trudey began performing CPR on the child, after five cycles of CPR the child began to breathe on his own. Upon arrival on-scene, the SWFD crew found the child sitting up and crying for his mother.

In submitting his report for consideration of a Lifesaving Award, Sergeant Shawn Hutchins, attending Paramedic, stated, "It is my opinion that this child is alive today only because of the quick thinking and reaction of this great citizen."

"This story has a happy ending only because Mrs. Trudey took the time to learn CPR and was able to quickly put her knowledge and skills to use. The SWFD encourages all members of our community to learn how to perform CPR. You can never tell when a medical emergency will happen and it feels good to know that you could help." The SWFD offers CPR courses on a continuous basis to the public.

For more information about CPR courses and how to sign up for them contact the SWFD at info@swfd.org of call 267-1298.




End



SWFD Places New Rescue in Service

2010-08-03,

New Rescue

On Thursday, July 29, 2010 the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) after much anticipation, placed our new Rescue 3 in service at Station 3/Headquarters. The purchase of the new rescue is part of the comprehensive vehicle replacement plan developed as a component of the District's Strategic planning process. Approved in the 2009-2010 budget, this rescue unit came in under cost and on schedule. Rescue 3 will provide SWFD members with increased safety features and the South Walton community with continued first rate service for many years to come.

From more information, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 267-1298


End



SWFD Responds to Fire in Santa Rosa Beach

2010-07-28,

Fire

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) responded to report of a small outdoor fire in Santa Rosa Beach at approximately 12:00 p.m. today, Wednesday, July 28, 2010.

Upon arrival, crews discovered two separate non-permitted burn piles (approx. 30ft. x 30ft. in diameter) that had spread to a nearby travel trailer. No injuries were reported, but the travel trailer sustained fire damage.

The tenant appeared to have been burning yard debris along with other illegal debris when the fire grew out of control. The Division of Forestry was notified and a citation was issued to the tenant.

The South Walton Fire District would like to take this opportunity to remind our citizens that any open burning/outdoor burning is strictly regulated by the Division of Forestry and requires permits.

For more information regarding outdoor fires, please contact the South Walton Fire District at 850-267-1298 or visit the Division of Forestry website at www.fl-dof.com.


End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
COMMITTEE MEETING NOTICE

2010-07-15,

Notice

The South Walton Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a HR/Benefits Committee meeting on Friday, July 23, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 North CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting is for the committee to review the draft policy for Compensation for Work during Emergencies or Disasters for Non-Represented Employees.

If you have any questions regarding this meeting, please call the SWFD Administrative Office at 850-267-1298.


End



SWFD Responds to Vehicle Fire in Santa Rosa Beach

2010-07-14,

Fire

On Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 9:18 a.m., the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) responded to a vehicle fire on Hwy 98, east of Hwy 283, in Santa Rosa Beach.

Upon arrival, crews discovered the entire engine compartment of a compact KIA engulfed in flames. The driver of the vehicle escaped injuries; however, the vehicle appeared to be a total loss. The fire was investigated by the South Walton Fire District and the cause of the fire was determined to be mechanical failure.

The South Walton Fire District would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to have their vehicles serviced for the extreme summer heat. Summer time brings on high temperatures, and just as your body needs protection from the heat, so does your vehicle.

Along with proper fluids (oil, transmission fluids, radiator fluids, etc.) an inspection and regular maintenance on your vehicle is recommended. Avoid possible vehicle problems or breakdowns with preventative actions. Should your vehicle breakdown, following are some simple tips to keep you safe until you are back on the road.
  • Stop and park the vehicle in a safe place as far off the road as practical
  • Avoid stopping around blind corners, just over crests, on bridges or where roads are very narrow
  • Use the vehicle hazard lights to warn other road users
  • Know who to call for assistance. Have the contact details of roadside assistance providers in the vehicle's glove box


For questions or further information, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298.


End



Strong Rip Currents

2010-07-02,

Rip Currents

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) would strongly encourage all beach goers to familiarize themselves with the beach flag warning system, the color of the flag and heed the warnings and directions of SWFD lifeguards. The present surf conditions, remnants of Hurricane Alex, are very deceptive; while the waves and clear water look very inviting, due to the widespread locations, total number and strength of the rip currents, swimming in the Gulf extremely dangerous at this time.

The SWFD responded to four water rescue calls involving 8 distressed swimmers by 11:30 a.m. this morning. As SWFD lifeguards worked tirelessly to warn beach goers of the inherent dangers that the surf conditions presented, many times their warnings were ignored requiring the lifeguards to perform rescues. 'We take every measure to be proactive and not reactive, preventing a situation from developing is far better and safer than having to responding to a swimmer in distress." said Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief.

"We are very fortunate that no one was seriously injured this morning" said Gary Wise, Beach Safety Director, "we need beach goers to monitor and follow the beach flags and direction of our lifeguards, under the current conditions knee deep is to deep." Lifeguards will be out in force this holiday weekend to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and safe 4th of July at the beach.


End



Drowning Behind Hidden Dunes Resort

2010-06-28,

Drowning

At approximately 1:20 p.m. this afternoon the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call reporting drowning victim on the beach with bystanders performing CPR. SWFD units arrived and initiated care on the 65 year old victim and transported him to Sacred Heart Hospital in cardiac arrest.

The incident is under investigation by the medical examiner's office to determine the actual cause of death. At the time of the incident the beach warning flags were red indicating a High Hazard, rough conditions such as strong surf and/or currents.

Tropical Storm Alex is forecast to gain strength as it enters the Gulf of Mexico. The associated wind fields will create sea swells that will reach Gulf Coast beaches later week producing high surf conditions for the remainder of the week.

The SWFD urges all beach goers to know their swimming capabilities and understand and heed the beach safety warning flags and the direction of lifeguards.

For more information please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at (850) 267-1298 .


End



NOTICE OF SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BUDGET WORKSHOP

2010-06-22,

NOTICE

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a Budget Workshop on Tuesday, August 10, 2010 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting is for SWFD staff to present the Fiscal Year 2010-2011 Proposed Budget to the South Walton Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners and interested members of the community.

For further information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.


End



Important Safety Reminder for our Citizens and Visitors Regarding the Oil Spill

2010-06-18,

Reminder

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) would like to remind our citizens and visitors that if you locate or spot any tar balls, or items/product on our beaches that appear to be related to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, please do not attempt to pick up the material or clean it up on your own.

The greatest assistance that you can provide to your community, your neighbors and our visitors is to contact the Citizen's Hotline at 850-267-2000 or 1-866-448-5816. Your call will insure a timely and measured response to help isolate and clean up the material, as well as proper disposal. Taking these items to your home, disposing of them in our local waste containers, or taking them to an alternate location is not a recommended action.

The SWFD urges everyone in our community not to pick up or handle any unidentified material.

OUR priority is YOUR safety!

If you have any questions or need additional information, please call the Citizen's Hotline at 850-267-2000 or contact an SWFD Lifeguard stationed at our eight public beach accesses. Please also feel free to visit the following websites: www.waltonso.org, www.swfd.org or www.bswupdate.com.


End



Brush Fires Keep SWFD Busy

2010-06-16,

Brush Fires

Two brush fires, twelve hours apart, kept the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) busy. The first brush fire call came in at 5:36 p.m. and was located in the vicinity of 420 Calle Escada, in the Santa Rosa Beach area. SWFD crews worked on scene for one hour to extinguish the fire that was approximately an acre in size. The cause of the fire was determined to be children playing with illegal fireworks.

Twelve hours later, at 5:41a.m., the SWFD was alerted of a brush fire behind 152 West Georgie Street, Seagrove Beach. SWFD crews arrived to find a wooded lot burning in close proximity to several homes. SWFD crews were able to quickly extinguish the flames. The cause of this fire is currently under investigation by the Florida Division of Forestry.

The SWFD is urging members of the community to follow the below safety precautions when using fireworks:

  • Only use legal fireworks from the Florida Division of State Fire Marshal's approved list
  • Always have an adult present, never give fireworks to small children
  • Always have a water hose and bucket nearby
  • Stay away from illegal or homemade fireworks
  • Never use fireworks near dry grass or flammable materials


Our current dry conditions and steady winds are the prime ingredients for potential wildfires. SWFD officials always urge residents to take extra measures to ensure their safety during the dry season. As illustrated by these two most recent incidents, a brushfire can quickly become a major threat to life and property. There are useful tips on how to protect your property located at www.swfd.org.

The SWFD wants to remind everyone that our local area is facing a threat looming out in the Gulf of Mexico that is, for the most part, out of our control. However, there are also common potential hazards in our community that we face every day and with a little safety sense and proactive measures, a potential negative outcome can be greatly reduced.

For more information concerning fire safety precautions, please contact Fire Marshal Sammy Sanchez at ssanchez@swfd.org or call Station 3/Headquarters at 850-267-1298.


End



RV Fire at Grayton Beach State Park

2010-06-14,

Fire

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call at 11:23 a.m. reporting a Recreational Vehicle (RV) on fire at the campground in Grayton Beach State Park. The SWFD responded and arrived to find an RV fully engulfed in flames beginning to spread to the wooded area surrounding the campsites. SWFD crews were able to quickly extinguish the flames.

The family had just arrived at the camp site 30 minutes prior to the fire starting and had not even had time to set the RV up. The RV was a complete loss. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by SWFD Fire Marshal Sammy Sanchez. Park officials are putting the family up in a cottage until alternative plans can be arranged.

For further information, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief.




End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS
FINANCIAL INVESTMENT AND BOARD APPOINTED COMMITTEES WORKSHOP

2010-06-01,

Workshop

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a workshop on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the workshop will be to review and finalize a District Investment Policy and to review and consider Board Appointed Committees.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this workshop.


End



Rip Current Awareness Week, June 6-12, 2010

2010-06-01,

Rip Current Awareness

Each year The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) designates the first full week of June as National Rip Current Awareness Week, coinciding with the traditional start of the summer vacation season.

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) would like to take this opportunity, National Rip Current Awareness Week, to heighten public awareness regarding rip currents at open water surf beaches

A rip current is water that is moving away from shore, created by a combination of factors that include wave action, wind, coastline features and sea floor topography. The strongest rip currents can attain speeds reaching 8 feet per second; faster than an Olympic swimmer can sprint! On average, more people die every year from rip currents than from shark attacks, tornadoes or lightning. According to the United States Lifesaving Association, 80 percent of surf beach rescues are attributed to rip currents, and more than 100 people die annually from drowning in rip currents.

In Florida, the lack of public awareness of the rip current phenomenon is responsible for the loss of at least 181 lives over the last decade, according to the National Weather Service data. The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) in partnership with the Walton County Tourist Development Council (TDC) has created a Beach Safety Program with the main focus on education and prevention. The Beach Safety Flag System informs beachgoers of the presence of, or the potential, for rip current development. SWFD strongly urges members of the public to heed the beach safety flag warnings and to always swim in front of a Lifeguard.

Please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298 for further information.


End



Chamber of Commerce Sponsors SWFD Lifeguard Appreciation Reception

2010-05-27,

Lifeguards

A Lifeguard Appreciation Reception for the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Lifeguards was held Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at the Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club. The reception hosted by: Walton Area Chamber of Commerce and Beaches of South Walton Tourist Development Council provided an opportunity for SWFD staff, elected officials, and local business leaders to show their appreciation to the men and women of the SWFD Beach Safety Division and their daily commitment to keeping our beach patrons safe.

"We are very grateful of the support shown by the community for our Lifeguards and our Beach Safety and Education Program", said Gary Wise, Beach Safety Director. The program, in its fifth season, has greatly increased the safety our local beaches through education and prevention activities. Our education program has taken on an additional message this season. All SWFD Lifeguards have all been trained on oil spill response and are providing accurate information about the current conditions in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as communicating to visitors that our beaches are open, pristine and ready for enjoyment.

Please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298 for further information.




End



Structure Fire at Gulf Place Caribbean

2010-05-19,

Condo Fire

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) responded to a fire alarm activation at Gulf Place Caribbean, 145 Spires Lane, Santa Rosa Beach. SWFD crews arrived to a report of smoke in an occupied unit on the 2nd floor. Crews quickly made entry, searched the unit, and confirmed that the occupant was able to escape. The occupant was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital for observation.

The fire was extinguished by the building's automatic sprinkler system with the activation of one sprinkler head in the unit. Upon preliminary inspection, the fire appears to have started in the kitchen area and is currently under investigation by the District's Fire Marshal.

"This fire incident is a prime example for the use and effectiveness of fire alarms and sprinkler systems. In this instance, the fire alarm woke the occupant, allowing an escape from the fire while the sprinkler system activated and extinguished the flames. Both systems worked flawlessly and did exactly what they were designed to do - safe lives and property", said Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief. "This same technology is also available for homes, where roughly 83% of all civilian fire deaths occur", said Hughes. Here are a few additional facts concerning residential sprinkler systems;

  • If you have a reported fire in your home, the risk of dying decreases by about 80 percent when sprinklers are present.
  • People in homes with sprinklers are protected against significant property loss-sprinklers reduce the average property loss by 74% per fire.
  • In home fires deemed large enough to activate an operational sprinkler, sprinklers operated and were effective 99% of the time.

For more information on home sprinkler systems, please contact Fire Marshal Sammy Sanchez at 850-267-1298 or ssanchez@swfd.org.




End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton - May 12, 2010

2010-05-12,

Prescribed Burn

The Florida Parks Service at Grayton Beach State Park will be conducting a 109 acre prescribed burn today, May 12, 2010, in an area located east of Highway 395, 1.5 miles west of Highway 283 and .5 north of WaterColor. The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction out of the south, smoke will be visible in areas of South Walton and will drift to the north. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burn has been completed

Please contact the Grayton Beach State Park at 850-231-8300 with any questions.


End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton - May 11, 2010

2010-05-11,

Prescribed Burn

The Florida Parks Service at Grayton Beach State Park will be conducting a 109 acre prescribed burn today, May 11, 2010, in an area located west of Highway 395 and south of Highway 98. The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction out of the southeast, smoke will be visible in areas of South Walton and will drift to the north. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burn has been completed

Please contact Grayton Beach State Park at 850-231-8300 with any questions.


End



Meeting Postponed Until Further Notice

2010-05-11,

Meeting

SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS FINANCIAL INVESTMENT AND COMMITTEE WORKSHOP

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners's workshop on Friday, May 14, 2010 from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. has been postponed until further notice

The purpose of the workshop was to review and finalize a District Investment Policy and to review and consider Board Appointed Committees.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this workshop.


End



Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week

2010-05-06,

EMS Week

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) would like to inform the citizens of Walton County that May 16 through May 22, 2010 has been designated as Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week.

The theme of this year's EMS Week is "EMS: Anytime, Anywhere, We'll Be There". EMS is a vital public service and SWFD personnel are ready to provide lifesaving care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, improving the survival and recovery rate of those who experience sudden illness or injury. Our team of professionals engages in thousands of hours of specialized training and continuing education to enhance their lifesaving skills and SWFD is pleased to recognize our members for their dedication and commitment.

EMS Division Chief Ryan Crawford states, "This week presents an opportunity for SWFD personnel to conduct outreach programs above and beyond their traditional call of duty, and enables them to educate the community on our Fire District's mission to deliver Prompt, Competent, Caring Response in Time of Need."

For more information, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Fire Chief at 850-267-1298.




End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT RETIREMENT BOARD - 2010 MEETINGS

2010-05-04,

Notice

The South Walton Fire District Retirement Board is scheduled to meet on the following dates:

  • March 1, 2010 2:30pm

  • June 2, 2010 8:00am

  • August 30, 2010 2:30pm

  • November 29, 2010 2:30pm

Any person(s) who wish to be placed on the agenda must contact the Eric Lang, Chairman at 850-267-1298 within fifteen days of any meeting and provide the name of the person who will be speaking and the subject to be addressed.

All meetings are held at 911 N. County Road 393 - Station 3 Headquarters, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459 unless otherwise notified by posting a change of location.



End



SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS FINANCIAL INVESTMENT AND COMMITTEE WORKSHOP

2010-05-04,

Notice

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a workshop on Friday, May 14, 2010 from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at SWFD Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the workshop will be to review and finalize a District Investment Policy and to review and consider Board Appointed Committees.

Please call SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298 with any questions regarding this workshop.



End



NOTICE OF PENSION WORKSHOP

2010-04-26,

Notice

The South Walton Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners and the Board of Trustees of the South Walton Fire District Firefighters Retirement System will hold a joint Pension Workshop on Monday, May 3, 2010 from 2:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Station 3/headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting is for an informational overview and status of the SWFD's Pension Plan.

For further information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.



End



NOTICE OF PENSION WORKSHOP

2010-04-26,

Notice

The Board of Trustees of the South Walton Fire District Firefighters Retirement System and the South Walton Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a joint Pension Workshop on Monday, May 3, 2010 from 2:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at Station 3/headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting is for an informational overview and status of the SWFD's Pension Plan.

For further information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.



End



SWFD Welcomes Three New Team Members

2010-04-23,

New Team Members

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) is proud to welcome three new members to our team. The new SWFD team members, two Firefighter/Paramedics and one Dispatcher, have been attending a comprehensive 80 hour employee orientation, which they will complete this afternoon with a swearing in ceremony.

Our new hires will begin working on shift with their assigned crews this Sunday. For the next year, their initial training and indoctrination will continue as they work to complete their Probationary Firefighter and Dispatcher Task Books under the guidance of their Lieutenants and Lead Dispatcher.

We welcome our new members to the SWFD family.



End



SWFD Junior Lifeguard Program

2010-04-22,

Junior Lifeguards

The South Walton Fire District's (SWFD) Beach Safety Division is excited to announce its 2010 Junior Lifeguard Program. The SWFD Junior Lifeguard Program will be under the supervision of Gary Wise, South Walton Fire District Beach Safety Director and South Walton Fire District Professional Lifeguards. Qualifying boys and girls ages (9-15) will be instructed in many aspects of beach and water safety and environmental topics.

Registration is limited. There is a swimming ability guideline that must be met prior to participating in this program. All participants should be able to swim using proper freestyle form with correct breathing (face in the water) and stroke skills. All Junior Lifeguards must tread water for a minimum of 1 minute

The Junior Lifeguard program will run from Tuesday, June 29, 2010 through Thursday, July 29, 2010 (5 weeks). Program activities will be held, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Swim tryouts will be held Saturday, May 22, 2010 beginning 9:00 a.m. at Ed Walline Park, Santa Rosa Beach located at the south end of CR 393. Parents are encouraged to stay for the tryouts - swim portion should be completed within 60 minutes. Registration is limited to the first 50 applicants whose completed registration/waivers are received and swim tryout standards are met. Cost: $220 for the first child, each additional child is $200.

For more information on the Junior Lifeguard Program or to receive a registration/waiver form, please contact Gary Wise, Beach Safety Director at 850-267-1298 or gwise@swfd.org



End



Weekend Brush Fires in South Walton

2010-04-12,

Brush Fires

It was a busy weekend for the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) with back to back brush fires, starting on the eve of Wildfire Awareness Week. Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner, Charles H. Bronson, announced on Sunday, that April 11-17 is Wildfire Awareness Week. On Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 2:41p.m., the SWFD received a call for a large outside fire threatening structures. The SWFD arrived quickly and found a densely wooded area at the end of Nuit Lane in Santa Rosa Beach on fire and growing rapidly, driven by the strong easterly wind. The SWFD had all units committed to the fire and were able to control the fire in approximately 2 hours with the assistance of Freeport FD and three Division of Forestry (DOF) tractors.

On Sunday, April 11, 2010 at 12:12 p.m., the previous days' fire escaped its fire break, jumped DOF fire lines and rapidly grew in intensity heading towards homes on Cypress Point Lane. Once again with the full commitment of the SWFD, assisted by the DOF, the homes were protected and the fire controlled.

The initial fire was determined to be caused by a resident burning yard debris. The SWFD is urging residents to please use extra caution when burning yard debris. According to Commissioner Bronson, "Almost 80 percent of wildfires in Florida are caused by human carelessness, with arson and escaped debris burning, being the top two causes." A result of our cold harsh winter, the fuels in the woodlands have dried and cured. This, coupled with our current weather pattern, will cause fires to rapidly develop and burn with extreme intensity.

  • Contain your fire in an 8-foot-diameter pile or non-combustible barrel that is at least 25 feet from forests, 25 feet from your house, 50 feet from a paved public road, and 150 feet from other occupied buildings.

  • Don't burn on windy days or when the humidity is below 30 percent.

  • Never leave a fire unattended, and make sure it is out before you leave.

  • Keep a shovel and water hose handy.


Since January 1, 2010, Florida has experienced 852 wildfires that burned 13,407 acres. Most of these fires were caused by human carelessness.

For more information on fire prevention tips and burning rules and regulations you may contact the South Walton Fire District Headquarters at 850-267-1298



End



NATIONAL PUBLIC SAFETY TELECOMMUNICATIONS WEEK

2010-04-09,

April 11 - 17, 2010

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) will honor the men and women who serve as public safety dispatchers and call takers during National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, April 11-17, 2010.

In South Walton and across the country, in times of intense personal crisis or community-wide disasters, the primary access point for those seeking fire and EMS emergency assistance is 9-1-1. The SWFD communication operators, who receive these calls, provide the reassuring voice on the other side of the phone and the first point of contact for persons seeking immediate relief during emergency and non-emergency situations. Last year, the SWFD Communications Center received over 20,000 calls for service.

Introduced to Congress by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International in 1991, National Public Safety Telecommunications Week is the second week of April each year. SWFD is dedicating this week to our public safety telecommunicators who aid in providing 9-1-1 emergency assistance to the citizens and visitors of South Walton.

"Every day, many members and visitors to our community rely on the expertise and commitment of the men and women who staff our communication center", said Marc Anderson, Assistant Chief. In addition to answering emergency calls, most operators also field questions relating to all types of complaints, all the while juggling priorities to serve the public in the best and fastest way possible. These behind the scenes personnel are the indispensable link between the public and fire/rescue emergency response personnel who make the difference between life and death in many instances.

This week we are honoring our dispatch and call-taking personnel with a special thank you for all the hard, dedicated work they do each day, all year round.

For further information or questions, please contact Marc Anderson, Assistant Chief.



End



SWFD 2009 Annual Report

2010-04-08,

Annual Report

Rick Talbert, Fire Chief of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) presented the SWFD 2009 Annual Report to the SWFD Board of Fire Commissioners during their regularly scheduled monthly meeting, which was held on April 5, 2010. In presenting the report to this Board, Chief Talbert stated, "It is with the greatest sense of pride and accomplishment that the South Walton Fire District Annual Report is presented for the 2009 calendar year. The information and statistical data contained within this report is a testament to the professionalism and dedication of the members of our District."

Chief Talbert also presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Executive Assistant Diane Brown at the meeting and stated, "Our Annual Report would not be possible if it were not for her efforts, support and commitment to this project".

The SWFD welcomes the community to view the 2009 Annual Report at 2009 Annual Report



End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton - Friday, April 2, 2010

2010-04-02,

Prescribed Burn

The Florida Parks Service at Grayton Beach State Park will be conducting an 82.5 acre prescribed burn today, April 2, 2010, in an area located east of Highway 395, approximately .5 miles west of 283 and on the north side of WaterColor. The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction out of the south/southeast, smoke will be visible in areas of South Walton and will drift to the north. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burn has been completed

Please contact Dale, Grayton Beach State Park at 850-231-8300 with any questions.



End

Crystal Bay Senior Living Center Recognizes SWFD Emergency Personnel

2010-04-01,

Crystal Bay

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) and other emergency agencies were recognized and thanked by the Crystal Bay Senior Living Center with a luncheon in their honor. The Center's staff and residents took the opportunity yesterday to thank the SWFD for the many contributions to the safety and wellbeing of the residents and their organization.

Under clear blue skies on a beautiful spring day, the picnic style cookout was held on the lawn area at the Crystal Bay Senior Living Center. "We are flattered by the generous invitation to this luncheon in recognition of the contributions of the men and women of the SWFD. Our commitment to you and all the citizens of our community is a core value of our organization and on behalf of the members of the SWFD, I proudly accept this certificate of appreciation", said Rick Talbert, Fire Chief.



End

Prescribed Burn in South Walton - Wednesday, March 31, 2010

2010-03-31,

Prescribed Burn

The Florida Parks Service at Grayton Beach State Park will be conducting a 45.5 acre prescribed burn today, March 31, 2010, in an area located between Highways 395 and 283, south of Highway 98. The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction out of the north, smoke will be visible in areas of South Walton and will drift to the south. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

Please contact Dale, Grayton Beach State Park at 850-231-8300 with any questions.

End



Rise in Vehicle Accidents in South Walton

2010-03-30,

Vehicle Accidents

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) responded to four separate motor vehicle accidents (MVA) yesterday, March 29, 2010. A minor accident with no injuries occurred at the intersection of Highway 98 and CR 30A at 1:43 p.m. At 2:57 p.m., a second minor MVA with no reported injuries occurred on Highway 98, west of the intersection with CR 331. Two hours later, at 5:02 p.m., a third MVA involving an SUV rollover occurred on Highway 98 in front of the Silver Sands Outlet Mall. Two occupants were removed from the vehicle using hydraulic extrications tools and were transported to Sacred Heart Hospital. A fourth MVA was reported at 12:12 a.m. on CR 395 in front of Publix involving a single motorcycle, and occurred when the driver lost control and hit his head on a tree limb. Due to the severity of the sustained injuries, the patient was transported to the Sacred Heart Trauma Center, Pensacola. The motorcycle driver was wearing a helmet which took the brunt of the impact when he hit his head.

The SWFD urges all drivers to use extra caution when driving. "Driving with attentiveness and vigilance is a responsibility that impacts not just driver's personal safety, but the lives and safety of all others who share the roadways," said Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief.

Hughes offered a few tried-and-true safety rules to help ensure safe travels during the spring break period:

  • Buckle up on each and every trip, whether it's a trip to the beach, a friend's house, or a neighborhood store;

  • Obey speed limits and all other traffic laws;

  • Don't drink and drive; at best the consequences can be costly, and at worst, deadly;

  • Avoid driver distractions; maintain focus on driving tasks, the roadway, other motorists, and your surroundings.


End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton - Tuesday, March 23, 2010

2010-03-23,

Prescribed Burn

The Florida Parks Service at Grayton Beach State Park will be conducting a prescribed burn today, March 23, 2010, on the east side of CR 283, approximately one (1) mile north of CR 30-A. The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction out of the north, smoke will be visible in areas of South Walton and will drift to the south. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

Please contact Matthew Allen, Grayton Beach State Park at 850-231-4210 with any questions.

End



NOTICE OF SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT PENSION WORKSHOP

2010-03-22,

Workshop

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a Pension Update Workshop on Monday, April 5, 2010 from 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting is for an information overview and status of SWFD's Fire Pension Plan.

For further information, please contact SWFD Headquarters at 850-267-1298.

End



Prescribed Burn in South Walton

2010-03-16,

Prescribed Burn

The Division of Forestry will be conducting a prescribed burn today, Tuesday, March 16, 2010 south of Highway 98 and west of Blue Mountain Beach. The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction out of the northwest, smoke will be visible in areas of South Walton and will drift to the east. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burn has been completed

Please contact the Division of Forestry at 850-547-7083 with any questions.

End



South Walton Fire District Lifeguards Take to the Beach

2010-03-11,

2010 Lifeguards

South Walton Fire District (SWFD) lifeguards will report to their towers at eight beach access points this Saturday March 13, 2010. The SWFD Beach Safety Program began the season two weeks ago as new and returning lifeguards reported for the start of the annual training academy.

The annual training academy lasts 80 hours and consists of medical, surf rescue techniques, beach and water surveillance techniques, strength and stamina conditioning, Fire District policies/ procedures, and communications. "Training at this time of year in the Gulf is particularly challenging due to the cold water and weather temperatures", said Gary Wise, Beach Safety Director.

As the SWFD Lifeguards prepare to start the 5th season of the Beach Safety and Education Program, a partnership between the SWFD and the South Walton Tourist Development Council (TDC), we will be unveiling a new educational tool. A weather monitoring and surf camera system is in place this year, providing real time weather data and surf condition video. Currently, one system is online at Ed Walline Park with two additional stations anticipated to come online this season in the Miramar Beach and Inlet Beach areas. "These new educational tools are available to the public and used in conjunction with the beach safety warning flag system, both of which can be accessed at www.swfd.org, aiding the public in making prudent, informed decisions on whether to enter the water before they even arrive at the beach", said Wise.

"The SWFD Beach Safety and Education Program is responsible for 26 miles of beach protected by lifeguards from eight towers and four roving patrols. We are continually looking for new and creative ways to reach and educate a larger audience on the conditions and potential dangers associated with swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. This is only made possible by the support of the TDC and the Walton County Board of Commissioners who recognize the importance of maintaining the safety of our beach patrons, locals and visitors alike" said Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief.

For further information, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298.


End




Local Health Care Residents Donate Stuffed Animals to SWFD

2010-03-11,

Stuffed Animals

The Resident Council Group of the Health Care Center of Destin (HCCD) provided the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) with stuffed animals at a brief presentation held at the HCCD facility.

The Resident Council Group is comprised of HCCD residents who meet monthly to discuss ways to promote community outreach projects, and members collected the stuffed animals over the past several months.

SWFD personnel will distribute the stuffed toys during emergency incidents where children are involved. "The emotional state of a child during any emergency situation can be very fragile. It is the hope of both HCCD and SWFD that these stuffed animals can provide comfort and bring a smile to children that have been impacted during emergency incidents." said Sammy Sanchez, SWFD Fire Marshal.

For further information, please contact Sammy Sanchez, Fire Marshal at 850-267-1298.



End



"Change Your Clocks - Change your Batteries"

2010-03-10,

Safety Reminder

For 12 years, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) has participated in the International Association of Fire Chiefs' campaign "Change your Clock -Change your Battery", reminding citizens to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when they change their clocks this Sunday, March 14, 2010.

"Properly working smoke detectors save lives". SWFD is so committed to this belief that the Fire District will install and replace batteries in smoke detectors for South Walton residents who are senior citizens, disabled, or families in need, at no charge. Remember, the life of a smoke detector is 10 years. If your detector is 10 years old or older, it should be replaced.

Some alarming facts:

  • Every year, approximately 3,000 people lose their lives in home fires, and most of those deaths are among the elderly, the disabled, the low income, and the very young.

  • Home fires account for four of every five fire-related deaths and three of every four fire-related injuries.

  • Many of these deaths may have been prevented if a working smoke detector was in place.

  • More than 90% of homes in the U.S. have smoke detectors, but a third are estimated to have dead or missing batteries.

  • Remember - please turn your clocks ahead on Sunday, March 14, 2010 at 2:00 a.m.!


For more information about smoke detectors, fire safety and developing a home escape plan, contact Fire Marshal Sanchez at the South Walton Fire District, 911 N. CR 393 Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 at 850-267-1298 or visit your nearest fire station.



End

SWFD Lifeguard Graduation Ceremony

2010-03-10,

Class of 2010

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) would like to welcome the media to participate in the SWFD Beach Safety Division-Lifeguard Class of 2010 graduation ceremony.

The graduation ceremony will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Ed Walline Park on Thursday, March 11, 2010.

All SWFD lifeguards have completed 80 hours of classroom and rigorous surf rescue training in preparation for the 2010 lifeguard season, which will begin on Saturday, March 13, 2010.

We look forward to you joining us on the beach!



End

Prescribed Burn in South Walton

2010-02-23,

Prescribed Burn

The Florida Park Service will be conducting a 25 acre prescribed burn today, February 23, 2010, at the 4-Mile Village, Coffeen Nature Preserve. The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction out of the west, smoke will be visible in areas of South Walton and will drift to the east. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

The Florida Park Service may be contacted at 850-217-5738 with any questions you may have.



End

Prescribed Burns in South Walton

2010-02-17,

Prescribed Burns

The Florida Division of Forestry (DOF) will be conducting a 153 acre prescribed burn today, February 17, 2010, on the South side of US Highway 98 West and the East side of South County Highway 83. The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction out of the northwest, smoke will be visible in areas of South Walton and will drift to the southeast. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

The Division of Forestry may be contacted at 850-547-7083 with any questions you may have.



End

Two Prescribed Burns in South Walton

2010-02-16,

Prescribed Burns

The Florida Division of Forestry (DOF) will be conducting a 230 acre prescribed burn today, February 16, 2010, at the intersection of US Highway 98 East and County Highway 283 South (South of Highway 98 East and West of 283 South). The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Additionally, the Florida Park Service will be conducting a 50 acre prescribed burn at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park in Santa Rosa Beach.

Due to the prevailing wind direction out of the northwest, smoke will be visible in areas of South Walton and will drift to the southeast. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

The Division of Forestry may be contacted at 850-547-7083 with any questions you may have.



End

SWFD to Conduct Large Scale Mass Casualty Incident Exercise

2010-02-12,

Exercise

On Wednesday, February 17, 2010, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) will be supporting Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast with their annual disaster drill by participating in a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) Exercise. Agencies participating in this exercise include the Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast, South Walton Fire District, the Walton County Sheriff's Office, Walton County Fire Rescue, Destin Fire Control District, and Bay County Emergency Medical Services.

This exercise will take place between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. SWFD would like to advise citizens in the area of Sandestin (north side) during this time to be aware that this exercise is for training purposes only.

According to Wayne Watts, Division Chief of Training for SWFD, "Training opportunities like this are extremely beneficial in helping to ensure our emergency response system is as prepared as possible when a real emergency of this type occurs."

SWFD wishes to thank Sandestin Resort for their cooperation and use of the Linkside Conference Center, and our neighboring public safety agencies for their support and participation in this important exercise.

For further information, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298.



End

Winter Weather Advisory / Freezing Weather Safety Tips

2010-02-11,

Weather

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for South Walton on Thursday night and Friday morning. Local meteorologists forecast precipitation and freezing temperatures for the next 36 hours, which may create snow flurries. Although no snow accumulation is anticipated, there is an increased likelihood of ice forming on roads, bridges and low lying areas throughout our District.

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) encourages members of the community to please limit leaving your homes only when necessary while icy conditions are prevalent. If you must be out on the roadways, please use extreme caution and be aware of black ice. Although rare in Florida, black ice is a dangerous wintertime hazard because the icy road may not always be visible to the driver.

While a shiny road surface indicates an obviously wet or icy road, a road covered with black ice will look a little different. Keep an eye out for pavement that is slightly darker and a little duller looking than the rest of the road surface-- this may indicate that black ice is present. Because black ice is so tricky to detect, a driver may not realize there is an icy road surface until his car begins to slide. Drive smoothly and steadily, if you begin to slide to take your foot off the gas, don't slam on the brakes and turn your wheels in the direction of the slide.

Additional cold weather safety tips:

  • Remember some areas around porches, steps, and sidewalks may have had standing water that has frozen.

  • Remember to be extra careful and dress warm, layering works best, if you have to go out!

  • Remember the five P's of cold weather- protect people, protect pets, protect plants, protect pipes and practice fire safety!

  • Remember, in the event of power outages; be extremely careful when using generators or fuel burning space heaters, as they can produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide that can cause poisoning in only a matter of minutes.

  • Remember to never use either gas powered or electric stoves or ovens to heat your home.

For questions or further information, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298.



End

Prescribed Burn in South Walton

2010-02-11,

Prescribed Burn

The Florida Division of Forestry (DOF) will be conducting an 87 acre prescribed burn today, February 11, 2010, South of US 98 West and East of Highway 283. The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction out of the north, smoke will be visible in areas of South Walton and will drift in a southerly direction. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

The Division of Forestry may be contacted at 850-547-7083 with any questions you may have.



End

Prescribed Burn

2010-02-10,

Prescribed Burn

The Florida Division of Forestry (DOF) will be conducting a 180 acre prescribed burn today, February 10, 2010, at the intersection of US Highway 98 East and County Highway 283 (Southeast corner). The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction out of the northeast, smoke will be visible in areas of South Walton and will drift in a southerly direction. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

The Division of Forestry may be contacted at 850-547-7083 with any questions you may have.



End

Audit Committee Meeting

2010-02-08,

Audit Committee Meeting

Please be advised that the Audit Committee of the South Walton Fire District will meet on February 16, 2010 at 1:00 at 911 N. CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL to discuss and prepare an Investment Policy for the District.



End

Lifeguard Positions

2010-01-27,

Lifeguards

The South Walton Fire District's Beach Safety Division will be holding run/swim tryouts beginning Tuesday, February 2, 2010. Candidates must complete a 500 meter swim in less than 10 minutes, be in good physical condition, be at least 18 years of age, and possess a high school diploma. Lifeguard positions require working weekends and holidays. All candidates are subject to passing a background check/drug screen. Candidates must complete a 40 hour open water lifeguard orientation and DOT First Responder Course.

To apply, visit our website at www.swfd.org.employment. Complete an application for employment and email to info@swfd.org, attention Gary Wise. Deadline for application submission is Tuesday, February 2, 2010.



End

SWFD BEACH SAFETY CONTRACT RENEWED

2010-01-27,

Beach Safety

South Walton Fire District (SWFD) is pleased to announce that the Walton County Board of County Commissioners approved the funding for the renewal of the SWFD Beach Safety contract to serve as the beach safety and lifeguard service provider for the Beaches of South Walton at their meeting held on Tuesday, January 26, 2010.

The SWFD is proud to have the opportunity to work with the TDC and our other public safety partners to provide preventative education, awareness and protection to the citizens and visitors that enjoy our beautiful beaches in South Walton.

SWFD's Beach Safety Division will be kicking off the 2010 Lifeguard season with swim tryouts beginning January 29, 2010 for returning lifeguards and February 2, 2010 for first time applicants. All selected candidates must successfully complete the SWFD Orientation Program and the United States Lifesaving Academy (USLA). SWFD trained lifeguards will begin patrolling the Beaches of South Walton beginning March 13, 2010.


End

Prescribed Burn in South Walton

2010-01-14,

Prescribed Burn

The Florida Division of Forestry (DOF) will be conducting a 100+ acre prescribed burn today, January 14, 2010, South of Highway 98 and West of County Highway 83. The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction and atmospheric conditions, smoke should lift and drift to the South. The smoke plume will be visible from the Blue Mountain and Santa Rosa Beach areas of South Walton. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

The Division of Forestry may be contacted at 850-547-7083 with any questions you may have.


End

Prescribed Burn in South Walton

2010-01-12,

Prescribed Burn

The Florida Division of Forestry (DOF) will be conducting a 150 acre prescribed burn today West of Highway 395 to just east of Highway 283. The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Due to the prevailing wind direction and atmospheric conditions, smoke should lift and drift to the South. The smoke plume will be visible from the Blue Mountain and Santa Rosa Beach areas of South Walton. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

The Division of Forestry may be contacted at 850-547-7083 with any questions you may have.


End

South Walton Local Irish Pub Catches Fire

2010-01-08,

South Walton Local Irish Pub Catches Fire

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Dispatch Center received a 911 call at 5:22 a.m., stating that a favorite local Irish pub, Johnny McTighe's, located at 2298 W. County Highway 30A Blue Mountain Beach, was on fire.

SWFD units arrived on scene a few minutes later to find large embers from the fire crossing County Highway 30A being blown by the strong, frigid winds. First arriving crews attacked the fire which had fully involved the back porch of the pub. Fighting the strong winds and large fire, the crews were able to knock the fire down quickly, within 7 minutes. Due to the gallant efforts of the firefighters and the design features of McTighe's, in particular steel exterior doors, the fire was kept from extending into the building.

The SWFD Fire Marshal, along with the State Fire Marshal's Office, is currently investigating the cause of the fire. It is initially believed to have started with a heat lamp located on the back porch.

For further information, please contact Deputy Chief Sean Hughes at 850-267-1298.


End

SWFD Administering Seasonal Flu Shots

2010-01-08,

Flu Shots

In our constant effort to maintain our vision of "Continually Improving the Safety and Wellbeing of our Community", the SWFD is providing seasonal influenza vaccinations to members of our community at a minimal charge. Seasonal flu shots, the most common form of flu vaccine, are recommended for anyone who wants to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with influenza or spreading influenza to others.

" The South Walton Fire District will administer flu shots between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at our Station 3/Headquarters facility located at 911 County Road 393 North, Santa Rosa Beach.

" Flu vaccines will be administered according to the guidelines established by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

" Vaccine is available for individuals over eighteen (18) years of age.

" Cost: $20.00 (cash, check or Medicare-Part B).

A seasonal flu shot will not protect you against the pandemic H1N1 influenza. Prevention of the H1N1 flu virus requires a separate, H1N1 vaccine.

For more information on the SWFD seasonal flu shot program, please call 850-267-1298 or email info@swfd.org


End

Cold Weather Tips from the SWFD

2010-01-07,

Cold Weather Tips

With temperatures reaching the freezing mark and below, setting all time record lows in our area, the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) would like to offer some cold weather tips for our citizens and visitors.

" If you do need to go out, limit your exposure, and know your limitations. Dress in several layers, and wear a waterproof and/or windproof outer layer.

" Fingertips, earlobes and noses tend to be highly susceptible to frost nip and frostbite. Keep these areas covered while out in the cold weather. The body loses approximately 40% of its heat through the head. Wearing a hat will help conserve body heat.

" Frost nip is a common and reversible result of exposure to the cold. Persons suffering from frost nip can easily re-warm cold fingers, toes or nose by gently rubbing these areas briskly.

" Frostbite is a more serious condition caused by long exposure to the cold. If left untreated, frostbite may result in the actual freezing of an extremity, digit or nose. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REWARM A FROSTBITTEN EXTREMITY BY RUBBING IT. Re-warming must be done gradually and in an Emergency Department.

" The very young, the elderly and or infirmed also tend to be prone to cold related injuries. It is important to monitor children, and to regularly check on elderly relatives or neighbors.

" If you anticipate being out in the elements for an extended period of time try to refrain from smoking or consuming alcohol. These items cause changes in the circulatory system making the body even colder.

" Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids.

" Make sure you have a working smoke detector in every bedroom and on every level. Check and change the batteries at least twice a year.

" Do not attempt to heat your home with the oven. Burning gas or wood in a closed house or apartment uses up oxygen and produces deadly carbon monoxide gases; make sure your home has a functioning carbon monoxide detector.

" Kerosene heaters and space heaters can be dangerous. If you have to use one, make sure are UL (Underwriters Laboratory) rated and that you maintain at least 3-5 foot clearance. Also, be certain the tip-over switch is functioning properly.

" Make sure that electric blankets are also UL listed. Unplug electric blankets and portable electric heaters when not in use

" Maintain at least 3-5 foot clearance from all fireplaces. Never leave a fire unattended.

" Beware of trip hazards near fireplaces and fire pits, especially with small children around.

" Have your chimney cleaned. The creosote buildup within the chimney stack can ignite.

" This time of year, people bathe more in hot water. Be careful when filling a bathtub for a small child. Scalding hot water can be dangerous.

" Carbon Monoxide is a silent deadly killer. Do not warm your vehicle up in an enclosed garage.

For questions or further information, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298.


End

Prescribed Burn in South Walton

2010-01-06,

Prescribed Burn in South Walton

The Florida Division of Forestry (DOF) will be conducting a 200 acre prescribed burn in the Blue Mountain/Santa Rosa Beach area. The burn will take place today between 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on the south side of Highway 98 in the forest area west of CR 83 towards Satinwood Drive.

Due to the prevailing wind direction and atmospheric conditions, smoke should lift and drift to the South. The smoke plume will be visible from the Blue Mountain and Santa Rosa Beach areas of South Walton. As always, the South Walton Fire District is monitoring the conditions. If you encounter smoke on any roads, you are encouraged to please slow down and use caution.

It is anticipated that the smoke will dissipate once the burns have been completed

The Division of Forestry may be contacted at 850-547-7083 with any questions you may have.

End



House Fire Day Before Christmas

2009-12-24,

Christmas Eve Fire

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a 911 call at 6:09 AM, the caller stating that "the house was on fire". Within seven minutes SWFD units arrived on scene at 151 Don Bishop Road, to find flames shooting 30 feet into the air from the front door and windows of the house. The crew from Squad 3 made a quick aggressive attack on the fire, rapidly knocking down the growing flames. Additional crews arrived and supported the operations bringing the fire swiftly under control.

In spite of the prompt response and actions of the firefighters on scene the house and all its content are a complete loss. The six occupants escaped the fire with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. The SWFD contacted the Red Cross which will assist the family however they can.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal's office. "Having your house catch fire is a very traumatic experience, but at this time of year, with the holidays, I can only imagine how much more heartbreaking it must be" said Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief.






End


HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

2009-12-21,

SWFD to provide Home For The Holidays Service

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Emergency Medical Services Division will be offering FREE Transportation on a space available basis to local residents who would otherwise be unable to come home for holiday celebrations. The Home For The Holidays program, which was modeled after a similar program provided in Okaloosa County, will have transportation available on Chrismas Eve and/or Christmas Day only, from the hours of 8am until 8pm. All requests for transportation must be received by December 23, 2009.

This program is designed to allow patients in skilled nursing and adult living facilities to go home and be with family members for holiday dinner. Patients must be self-supporting while at the residence, and be left in the care of a responsible family member.

South Walton Fire District will provide free roundtrip transportation originating in South Walton and ending in Walton County, Destin City limits, or the community of Blue Water Bay.

For additional information, or to schedule transportation, please contact our Dispatch Center at 850-267-0167.


End

SWFD Board Meetings: 2010

2009-11-23,

SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS BOARD MEETINGS – 2010


JANUARY 4, 2010

FEBRUARY 1, 2010

MARCH 1, 2010

APRIL 5, 2010

MAY 3, 2010

JUNE 7, 2010

JULY 12, 2010

AUGUST 2, 2010

SEPTEMBER 13, 2010

OCTOBER 4, 2010

NOVEMBER 1, 2010

DECEMBER 6, 2010

All meetings are held at 4:00 p.m.
911 N CR 393 / Station 3 Headquarters
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459


*Note: Persons who wish to be placed on the agenda must contact the Executive Assistant within two days of any meeting and provide the name of the person who will be speaking and the subject to be addressed.

If a person decides to appeal any decision made by the South Walton Fire District's Board of Fire Commissioners with respect to any matter considered at such meeting or hearing, will need a record of the proceedings and that for such purpose may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.

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ELF RIDE DOWN 30-A!!

2009-11-20,

To Benefit the SWFD/Caring & Sharing Angel Tree

When: Sunday, December 6, 2009 at 1:00 p.m.

Where: Meet in front of Seaside Post Office at 1:00 p.m.

Details, Details, Details:

Children and parents will meet at the Seaside Post Office and bicycle to South Walton Fire District Station #2 (approximately 1.5 miles). Parents must accompany all children!

PLEASE BRING A TOY (WRAPPED) LABELED "BOY" OR "GIRL", AGE, & TOY DESCRIPTION FOR THE ANGEL TREE.

Hot chocolate, treats, and a tour of the fire station and fire trucks will be available!!

Wear your Santa or Elf hat!!
Be Creative - Decorate Your Bike
For more information call Diane Brown at SWFD 850-267-1298


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IT'S ANGEL TREE TIME AT SWFD!!

2009-11-19,

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) has the honor and privilege of hosting the Caring and Sharing / North American Family Institute "Angel Tree" each year during the holiday season benefiting children of all ages who live in Walton County.

"Angel Names" will be available for you to select beginning Friday, November 20, 2009 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Please stop by Station 3/Headquarters, located at 911 North CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, where there will be 200+ Angels waiting to be chosen. All gifts will need to be wrapped and returned before Monday, December 14, 2009.

Please reach into your heart and stop by to choose your own special child or family and help make the holidays happier for our area angels!

For more information or special time arrangement, please call Diane Brown, Executive Assistant at Station 3/Headquarters, 850-267-1298.


End

SWFD Mentors at Seaside Neighborhood School

2009-10-02,

For the past two years South Walton Fire District (SWFD) personnel have been pleased to participate as mentors for the Seaside Neighborhood School's mentoring program. This program provides students an opportunity to explore career possibilities and build relationships with business professionals in our community. Students meet with community mentors six times each semester to learn and participate in career-specific activities of their choosing.

Currently, SWFD Lifeguards, Justin Cook and Adam Boyer, are providing education on surf and beach safety, as well as presenting a positive example of the commitment and dedication it takes to keep beachgoers safe. In addition, Fire Marshal Sammy Sanchez is providing fire/ life safety education and strategies.

The SWFD is proud to participate in such a great program. In the words of John F. Kennedy, "Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future." "If the SWFD can play a small part in presenting a positive example to these students, then we have spent our time well." said Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief.


End

Gulf Power Provides Electrical Hazard Training for SWFD

2009-10-01,

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) recently completed hosting a three day seminar regarding dangers electrical transmission lines pose to firefighters who respond to emergencies such as structure fires, motor vehicle accidents, and downed power lines.

The training was presented by Mr. Carl Jackson of Gulf Power with the assistance of the Gulf Power "Safety City" model. This energized model allowed a safe demonstration to SWFD members of what occurs when a person, vehicle, tree, or other item comes in contact with a power line. This demonstration was designed to address the specific needs of recognizing and avoiding both the obvious and hidden electrical hazards associated with emergency response and can be tailored to meet the needs of other organizations, which by the nature of their work, may have potentially close exposure to electrical lines and equipment.

One of the biggest dangers identified during the training was electric services added to homes to support newer or more powerful heating and cooling systems. In some cases these systems bypass the electrical panels that are designed to control the power in and out of the structure. When such a condition is present, the power "back feeds" along the power lines in the home and re-energizes the lines that the breakers are supposed to shut off. According to Wayne Watts, Division Chief of Training for the South Walton Fire District, "Electrical lines back feeding electrical services has become more common since Hurricane Katrina. Generators connected to a building's electrical services, which kick on when power is disconnected from the main feed, re-energize the lines and pose a danger to the firefighters who are dealing with an emergency response". The SWFD urges all our residents to contact the power company anytime new electric services are added to their home, or before they dig near underground utilities, and only use licensed contractors to perform any electrical work.



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National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service

2009-09-28,

On Sunday October 4, 2009, the American flag is to be lowered in observance of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. The law requires the American flag be lowered in tribute on only six days each year, very appropriately, one of these days is in tribute to firefighters that made the ultimate sacrifice in the service to their communities.

The South Walton Fire District would respectfully request members of our community to join us in this tribute and lower your flag. When you lower your flag this year, you will recognize the brave men and women who died in the Line of Duty.

The Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service is held each year on the first Sunday in October, which also begins National Fire Prevention Week. President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the first National Fire Prevention Week on Oct. 4-10 in 1925. The week was chosen in honor and remembrance of the Great Chicago Fire (Oct. 9, 1871). This tragic fire killed some 300 people, left 100,000 homeless and destroyed more than 17,000 structures.

"It is fitting that on a day that is devoted to remembering those firefighters who paid the ultimate price in the performance of their duties that we launch an annual, focused effort to educate the public on fire safety issues. Our country's firefighters make a commitment day in and day out to protect others from fire and other life threatening hazards, how better to honor these men and women than in a National Campaign aimed at preventing others from experiencing fire related tragedies", said Sean Hughes, Deputy Fire Chief.


End

South Walton Fire District 2009 Lifeguard Season Wraps Up

2009-09-28,

Sunday, September 27, 2009 was the last day for the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Lifeguards supervising the beaches of South Walton for the 2009 season. As the sun lowered on the horizon, lifeguards, with the assistance of firefighters, began the arduous task of removing the eight lifeguard towers from the beach. Lifeguard towers, wooden and aluminum symbols representing a safe and secure place to enjoy the surf and sand, are heading for post- season maintenance and storage.

Lifeguards have been supervising the beaches from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily since March. "Since the Beach Safety and Education program began 4 years ago, there has not been a drowning at a lifeguard supervised beach during lifeguard scheduled hours and, to date, this summer has been no exception. I'm proud to report that, so far, we have kept our record intact for another year," said Gary Wise, Beach Safety Director. "We place the emphasis of our program on public education and prevention. Our lifeguards have conducted 15,163 preventative actions, and the result is a very low rate of major incidents."

A notable new addition to the beach safety program this year were beach wheelchairs, available at three tower locations for those needing assistance with mobility on the beach sand. The chairs have been removed from the beach, but will continue to be available. Members of the public requiring the use of a beach wheelchair will need to contact the SWFD Headquarters Station at 850-267-1298 and arrange to schedule a wheelchair for their use.

While the lifeguards will not be patrolling the beach, the SWFD realizes that people will still be visiting the beach and are asking that you think smart and be careful. Know the beach and understand and heed the beach flag warnings. Daily surf conditions and beach safety related information is still available at this site or visit the Fire District's Facebook Page: South Walton Fire District.


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South Walton Fire District to Sustain Same Millage Rate

2009-09-24,

Officials at South Walton Fire District are poised to sustain the Fire District's millage rate to the same level as this year. That means taxpayers will pay less than they did for fire protection this year. "Those with a homestead exemption will pay slightly more than they did this year because of the Recapture Rule," Hughes said.

In July 2009, SWFD Fire Commissioners set a millage rate cap of $.76 per $1,000 of taxable property. That means residents with a home valued at $300,000 would pay $228 for fire protection.

"We're going to propose a millage rate of $.76 which is well below the rolled back rate of $.9280," Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief said. "That's the same rate as last year."

That tax rate is expected to generate about $8.8 million - a drop of $1.6 million from fiscal year 2009 because of a 16.75 percent drop in property values within the District. The final budget hearing was held on September 23, 2009 at 5:01 p.m. at the Headquarters Station, 911 N. CR 393 Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.


End

SWFD Honors Members Who Serve Our Country

2009-09-21,

The Service flag is an official banner authorized by the Department of Defense for display by families or organizations who have members serving in the Armed Forces during any period of war or hostilities the U.S. may be engaged in for the duration of such hostilities.

South Walton Fire District (SWFD) members brought forth the idea of flying the service flag in recognition of the (SWFD) team members serving overseas. The service flag was designed and patented by Word War I Army Captain Robert L. Queasier of the 5th Ohio Infantry who had two sons serving on the front line. The flag quickly became the unofficial symbol of a child in service. During World War II, the practice of displaying the service flag became much more widespread.

Currently, SWFD has two team members, Mike Cox and Brandon Graves, who are serving our country overseas. SWFD will proudly hang a Service flag, along with the American flag, at Station 3/Headquarters.

SWFD is proud of our members who serve our country and we are pleased to honor them.



End

Busy Weekend for the SWFD

2009-09-15,

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) responded to three structure fires and two alarm activations between Saturday, September 12, 2009 and Monday, September 14, 2009. Four of the five calls resulted from improper cooking.

At 2:02 p.m. on Saturday, SWFD Dispatch received a report of a structure fire at 214 Walton Rose Lane. SWFD firefighters arrived to find smoke emanating from the structure. Upon entry crews found the kitchen to be on fire and immediately extinguished the fire. The cause was determined to be unattended food on the stove. Approximately three hours later, the SWFD responded to an alarm activation at Crystal Bay Assisted Living Center. Upon arrival and after speaking with the staff, it was confirmed that the 3rd floor was full of smoke. SWFD crews found the source of the smoke to be burnt food on a stove in one of the units.

On Sunday the SWFD responded to a reported structure fire at 836 N. Walton Lakeshore Drive. And found smoke coming from the front door of the residence. Upon investigation crews found burnt food on the stove. At 11:02 p.m. the SWFD received a fire alarm activation call from 640 Grand Boulevard. Upon arrival, crews were told by the staff of P.F. Chang's that while cooking, they had a flare up which activated the fire suppression system, sending an extinguishing agent onto the cooking surface, extinguishing the fire.

On Monday at 6:07a.m., the SWFD responded to a report of a home, located at 24228 CR 331 South, fully involved in flames. Upon arrival SWFD crews confirmed that the house was totally engulfed in flames, the fire was brought under control in 17 minutes. Upon investigation by the State Fire Marshal's Office, the cause was determined to be a faulty A/C unit.

Four of these five incidents involved cooking fires. The SWFD urges members of the community to practice cooking safety in the home. The theme for Fire Prevention Week 2009 focuses on burn awareness and prevention, as well as keeping homes safe from the leading causes of home fires, like cooking. Many families gather in the kitchen to spend time together, but it can be one of the most hazardous rooms in the house if you don't practice safe cooking behaviors. Cooking equipment, most often a range or stove top is the leading cause of reported home fires and home fire injuries in the United States. For more information on cooking safety click "Continue" below.


Continue

SWFD CELEBRATES FIRE PREVENTION WEEK!
OPEN HOUSE - OCTOBER 3, 2009

2009-09-14,

This year, October 4 - October 10, 2009 will be recognized as Fire Prevention Week throughout our nation. The theme for Fire Prevention Week 2009, "Stay Fire Smart - Don't Get Burned", focuses on burn awareness and prevention, as well as keeping homes safe from the leading causes of home fires.

The members of the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) will be holding an Open House on Saturday, October 3, 2009, which will be open to the public from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The day will include educational and fun activities for all members of the family. SWFD firefighters and lifeguards will be providing live demonstrations and training, child safety seat inspections, fire related games, a "jump house", blood pressure checks, photos with a firefighter and much more! Free food, including hot dogs, soft drinks, popcorn and cookies will also be available.

SWFD encourages all members of our community to join us in support of our public safety efforts and to enjoy an educational and fun-filled afternoon with your local firefighters on October 3rd.


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New Engine in Service at Station 1 Inlet Beach

2009-09-11,

For the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) it is a day of grand expectation as they place their newest addition, Engine 1, into service. The new fire engine is state of the art and meets all of the current national safety standards.

The 2009 Pierce Impel Engine is equipped with a 1250 GPM pump and 500 gallon water tank and enough compartment space to carry all the tools and medical equipment necessary to handle any emergency situation. This new engine will replace an aging truck that was placed in service 10 years ago. Deputy Chief Hughes said "E-1 has served us well for the past ten years and her work is not done yet, we are placing her in our reserve fleet."

The effort to purchase the new engine began a year ago and came to fruition this past week. "We are pleased to be able to update our fleet with the latest technology, improving our firefighting capabilities and firefighter safety", said Hughes.



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South Walton 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony

2009-09-10,

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) would like to invite members of the community to take a moment out of their busy day and join us in a moment of remembrance tomorrow September 11, 2009. The members of the Christian International congregation have put together a short program to remember and honor those Firefighters and Law Enforcement personnel whom have given their lives so that others may live. "that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion" - Abraham Lincoln

Tomorrow, September 11 at 9:00 AM members of Walton County are cordially invited to gather at the "Purple Heart" Monument located adjacent to the County Annex on Hwy 331 for a brief memorial. There will be a moment of silence to respect the fallen and to give thanks for those who answer the call every day. The ceremony will conclude with the singing of God Bless America lead by Rhonda Skipper, Walton County Tax Collector.


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South Walton Fire District to Sustain Same Millage Rate

2009-09-10,

Officials at South Walton Fire District are poised to sustain the Fire District's millage rate to the same level as this year. That means taxpayers will pay less than they did for fire protection this year. "Those with a homestead exemption will pay slightly more than they did this year because of the Recapture Rule," Hughes said.

In July 2009, SWFD Fire Commissioners set a millage rate cap of $.76 per $1,000 of taxable property. That means residents with a home valued at $300,000 would pay $228 for fire protection. "We're going to propose a millage rate of $.76 which is well below the rolled back rate of $.9280," Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief said. "That's the same rate as last year."

That tax rate is expected to generate about $8.8 million - a drop of $1.6 million from fiscal year 2009 because of a 16.75 percent drop in property values within the District. The final budget hearing will be held on September 23, 2009 at 5:01 p.m. at the Headquarters Station, 911 N. CR 393 Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

For further information, please feel free to contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief, 850-267-1298.


End

NOTICE OF BUDGET HEARING

2009-09-10,

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) has tentatively adopted a budget for 2010. A public hearing to make a FINAL DECISION on the budget AND TAXES will be held on:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 5:01 P.M.
at
SWFD Headquarters, 911 N. County Road 393
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459


End

South Walton Fire District Training Exercise

2009-08-31,

During the week of August 24-29, 2009, the South Walton Fire District will conduct a large-scale training exercise at the site of the former Bruno's Supermarket located at 69 Poinciana Boulevard, Miramar Beach. The purpose of the exercise is to practice fire attack operations in structures with large square footage. Since fires of this type do not occur very often, it is extremely important for our District personnel to practice this low frequency, high risk situation.

Crews from other agencies around South Walton will also join SWFD in this exercise, which will test and improve mutual aid capabilities between all agencies. "Opportunities like this, where we have such a large building at our disposal, are rare. We want to take full advantage of the opportunity to train our firefighters and those of our neighboring communities as intensively and realistically as possible to ensure their safety and that of the citizens we serve.", said Wayne Watts, Training Division Chief of the South Walton Fire District.

The South Walton Fire District would like to thank Destin-Poinciana, LLC and Cress Realty Group, Inc. for allowing us to use the building and South Bay Ace Hardware for donating building materials used to make props for the incident. Their assistance and generosity made this important training event possible.



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Artists at Gulf Place Support SWFD with their second "Annual Fence of Flags"

2009-08-31,

For the second year in a row, the Artists at Gulf Place in their continuing support of SWFD are collecting American flags for their "Fence of Flags". All area residents are encouraged to bring their homemade flags between now and September 10th to the Artists at Gulf Place, located on Highway 30-A in Santa Rosa Beach.

Wendy Prentice, Coordinator and resident artist at Gulf Place explained that "flags can be painted, colored, sewn, knit or drawn on anything and everything! We need our creative locals to support the SWFD and donate their own art flag." Flags may be dropped off at Artists at Gulf Place or you may call for a pickup at 850-974-1452. Please include your name on the back of your flag!

The flags will be displayed at Gulf Place beginning September 11th and the Artists at Gulf Place will accept donations from those interested in owning one of the flag masterpieces. The proceeds collected from the purchase of these flags will be donated to the South Walton Fire District. "The artists recognition and support of the SWFD is extremely appreciated and we would like to do something special in return for our community with the donations we receive. The SWFD will use all donations received to purchase smoke detectors for the hearing impaired, which we will provide to community members free of charge", said Deputy Chief Sean Hughes.



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SWFD Junior Lifeguards Complete a Great Season

2009-08-04,

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Junior Life Guard Program, which began June 30, 2009 and was held at the Ed Walline Beach access, has just concluded its second season. "This season far exceeded our expectations, in large part because of the boys and girls that participated and the support of their parents", said Gary Wise Beach Safety Director. This annual program is designed to introduce young people to safe marine and aquatic recreational opportunities. Further, it is our goal to improve young people's physical conditioning, their understanding and respect for the environment, and their respect for themselves as well as others, all while having a great time at the beach!

Under the watchful supervision of Justin Cook, Junior Lifeguard Coordinator and Adam Boyer, Lead Instructor and with the support of other SWFD professional lifeguards, the boys and girls were instructed in many aspects of beach and water safety and environmental topics. The training was accomplished through daily participation in activities including stretching, beach runs, open water swimming, paddle boarding, body surfing, beach games and competitions.

Further, a respect for the environment is developed by the understanding gained with daily physical contact with the beach and aquatic environment and through education. Participants gain respect for themselves and others by contact with instructors and other youths in a team building environment. In addition, participants are exposed to many of the skills and techniques utilized in professional lifesaving organizations.

"It has been a pleasure to teach such a wonderful group of kids, their enthusiasm and energy is contagious. They have all developed and improved so much during this season, and I look forward to their return next year", said Justin Cook, Junior Lifeguard Coordinator. Six SWFD Junior Lifeguards will be competing in the United States Lifeguard Associations' (USLA) National Lifeguard Championship held in Ft. Lauderdale August 6-8, 2009.






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Fire Chief Rick Talbert named Florida Fire Chief of the Year

2009-07-23,

The South Walton Fire District's (SWFD) Fire Chief Rick Talbert was recognized on July 21, 2009 by the Florida Fire Chief Association's (FFCA) as Florida Fire Chief of the Year at the association's annual Executive Leadership and Development Conference in Ft Lauderdale Florida. This award is the most distinguished honor the Florida fire service can bestow upon one of its chief fire executives. FFCA's Fire Chief of the Year award was conceived to recognize truly outstanding fire chiefs whose acts and deeds in their profession, home, community and country serve as an example and challenge for all other fire chief executives throughout Florida.

Chief Talbert's demonstrated leadership, innovation, professional development, integrity, service to the public and his commitment to SWFD members, as well as contributions to the fire service as a whole, led to his selection as Fire Chief of the Year. Talbert served as the Florida Fire Chiefs Association president in 2006/2007.

"I am honored and thankful to be recognized by my peers and it is truly a privilege to bring this accolade to South Walton", said Chief Talbert.


Fire Chief Rick Talbert is joined by his staff at the FFCA's Florida Fire Chief of the Year awards ceremony. Left to right: Marc Anderson, Assistant Chief; Diane Brown, Executive Assistant; Rick Talbert, Fire Chief/Administrator; and Ryan Crawford, EMS Chief.



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Highway 98 Single Vehicle Accident Results in Fatality

2009-07-23,

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call for a vehicle accident involving a single vehicle at 5:45 a.m. this morning. The accident occurred at the intersection of Highway 98 and Lake Shore Drive in Inlet Beach.

SWFD units arrived minutes later to find an SUV that had left the road and flipped over, ejecting both occupants. One victim died at the scene and the other victim was transported in critical condition.

Reports from witnesses said they saw a small SUV moving at high rate of speed. The vehicle was then seen rolling over, hurling the occupants from the vehicle at what appeared to be approximately 50-75 feet from the area where the vehicle came to rest. The cause of the accident is under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol; however, it has been confirmed that neither occupant was wearing a seatbelt.


End

Busy Monday Morning for SWFD

2009-07-20,

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) got off to a busy start this morning. Three trauma alert patients were flown to Sacred Heart Hospital Trauma Center in Pensacola as a result of injuries sustained in two separate incidents this morning.

The first incident involved the response of the SWFD's technical rescue team to Sandestin's commercial laundry when a maintenance man became entangled in a commercial ironing and folding machine while performing maintenance on the equipment. "The patient's arm became entrapped between two large roller pins when the machine started while he was working on it", said Mike Thomas, District Chief. Thomas said, "SWFD crews had to use specialized rescue tools. It took approximately 40 minutes to free the man's arm. Once freed, he was transferred to the landing zone to meet the awaiting helicopter for transport to Pensacola."

At 9:33 a.m., shortly after the first patient had lifted off, the SWFD received a call in Seagrove for a report of two men that had a long fall from scaffolding. Crews arrived to find two patients who had fallen from scaffolding, approximately 25 feet high. Both patients were immobilized and transported to a nearby landing zone to await the arrival of a Gulf Flight 1 helicopter to take the patients to Sacred Heart Trauma Center Pensacola.


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NOTICE OF SOUTH WALTON FIRE DISTRICT BUDGET WORKSHOP

2009-07-08,

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) Board of Fire Commissioners will hold a Budget Workshop on Monday, August 10, 2009 from 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at Station 3/Headquarters, 911 N CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.

The purpose of the meeting is for SWFD staff to present the Fiscal Year 2009-2010 Proposed Budget to the Fire Board and interested members of the community.


End

Fireworks Safety

2009-06-25,


The South Walton Fire District would like to take this opportunity to wish our citizens and visitors a safe and happy Fourth of July! In keeping with tradition, fireworks displays play a big part in the holiday celebrations and the District encourages people to view the many professional displays provided around the community. Anyone using fireworks must have a permit from their local government. Without a permit, it is illegal in Florida to use fireworks, which include shells and mortars, multiple tube devices, Roman candles, rockets and firecrackers, when such use is not in strict compliance with Chapter 791.012, Florida Statutes. Floridians should not sign "waivers" in order to purchase fireworks. Signing a waiver will not clear you of responsibility should you be caught illegally using fireworks, which is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Injuries most commonly associated with fireworks are injuries involving hands and fingers (31%); eyes (25%); head and face (20%); especially to young children. Even seemingly harmless, sparklers cause many injuries. For children under the age of 5, sparklers account for three-quarters of all fireworks injuries. Fascinated by the bright sparks, little children may wrap their hands around a stick of fire that maintain temperatures reaching 1800 degrees.

Following injuries, fireworks also cause thousands of fires each year. Lighters, matches, and projectile type fireworks are the leading causes of fires during the Fourth of July holiday. The South Walton Fire District invites you to celebrate our nation's heritage on the Fourth of July, but celebrate safely! A misguided bottle rocket landing on a roof may start a devastating fire. Follow these safety tips regarding fireworks:

  • Use fireworks outdoors only.
  • Obey local laws. Any fireworks that explode or launch are illegal in the State of Florida.
  • Always have water handy, ( a hose or bucket) in case fire breaks out.
  • Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them or combine them.
  • Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Have a "designated shooter."
  • Sparklers can reach temperatures of over 1000 degrees. Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.
  • Never walk around barefooted in the fireworks area. Some fireworks still remain hot even after they have ended.
  • Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials
  • Do not ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.


Take your family out to see a public fireworks display as a safe alternative to lighting fireworks at home. If you or your family has any questions concerning fireworks and their safe usage, please contact the South Walton Fire District at 850-267-1298.,


End

Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week

2009-06-10,


The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) is pleased to announce our participation in the 2009 Fire/EMS Safety, Health and Survival Week program, scheduled for June 14-20, 2009. The theme for this year is "Protect Yourself: Your Safety, Health and Survival Are Your Responsibility". The goal of this annual program is to encourage fire chiefs and fire service personnel to focus on what they personally can do to manage risk and enhance their health and safety. This year's theme reflects the need for personal responsibility and accountability within a strong safety culture.

The International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) developed this annual program to encourage all fire/EMS departments to devote this week to reviewing safety policies, evaluating the progress of existing initiatives, and discussing health and fitness. The SWFD will make a concentrated effort during this week to review and evaluate safety measures and to provide focused training relative to this year's theme.

"The safety of our personnel is a full-time job and priority for each one of us. We can't be complacent and expect someone else to take responsibility, it must be a personal commitment," said Deputy Chief Sean Hughes. The creation of a strong safety culture based around the SWFD's core values of Leadership, Teamwork, Integrity and Community Service will position the SWFD to safely deliver our mission of "Prompt, Competent, Caring Response in Time of Need".


End

SWFD is Hurricane Prepared. Are you?

2009-06-09,


The South Walton Fire District utilized the month of May to prepare for the upcoming Hurricane Season. Preparations included participation in the State of Florida's annual hurricane drill, as well as an annual hurricane preparedness drill conducted internally.

The South Walton Fire District asks, "Are you prepared?" The time for preparation and planning for a hurricane is now. Take the time to prepare yourself, your family, and your property if a hurricane does come our way.

Click "Continue" for more information for assistance in creating your plan.


Continue

SWFD's Annual Junior Lifeguard Program

2009-06-08,


The South Walton Fire District will be hosting the annual Junior Lifeguard Program this summer. The program begins June 30, 2009 for boys and girls ages 9-15. Swim tryouts at Ed Waline Beach Access will be on Monday, June 8, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. and again on Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.

To receive a registration form, e-mail your request to: info@swfd.org or call us at (850) 267-1298. All participants must complete a registration form prior to tryouts.


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South Walton Fire District Conducts State Mandated Wildfire Training

2009-05-04,


The Florida Division of Forestry (DOF) has the responsibility to ensure that individuals deployed through the State Emergency Response Plan (SERP) for wildland firefighting have been trained at a minimum level. The courses, which include S-130, Basic Wildland Firefighting, S-190, Introduction to Wildland Fire Behavior, and/or Florida Fire Behavior (FFB) training are nationally developed and recognized.

To accomplish this task the Florida Fire Chiefs Association (FFCA), with assistance from the Division of Forestry, has established three (3) positions for eligible fire department personnel: Firefighter, Engine Leader and Engine Strike Team Leader, and has also identified the minimum qualifications for each position. To ensure that all South Walton Fire District (SWFD) members are trained to meet the minimum qualifications, Wayne Watts, Training Division Chief in partnership with members of DOF, have developed and conducted courses, in house, to provide this very valuable training.

Over the past month, SWFD members have been training on wildland firefighting subjects focusing on firefighter safety, basic firefighting, fire behavior and fire tactics for the wildland urban interface. "With over 16 million acres of forest land in Florida the risk of wildland fires is great. This training is invaluable to our members in preparing to meet the wildfire challenge within the District, as well as being trained and qualified to assist our partners, DOF and other fire departments around the State, through participation in SERP", said Chief Watts.




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South Walton Fire District Prepared and Monitoring the Pandemic Flu

2009-05-01,


In response to an intensifying outbreak in the United States and internationally caused by a new influenza virus of swine origin, the World Health Organization raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 5 on April 29, 2009. A Phase 5 alert is a "strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short."

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) has taken proactive measures to prepare in the event of a local outbreak. In the event of a pandemic, the SWFD and Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast would jointly lead the response effort for the local community. Both agencies worked together to jointly develop a response plan.

This response plan, based on a unified command system that involves coordination with Walton County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the Walton County Health Department. We have met and will continue to meet and build upon our planning efforts to insure that our community is as prepared as possible if a pandemic arrives. We will continue to communicate with the community to educate and raise awareness about preventative measures, the impact of pandemic influenza on our community and to increase the understanding regarding the actions and responsibilities of the SWFD and our community response partners.

Communication to the public through the media is essential to a successful pandemic flu response. The goal of the SWFD and Sacred Heart is to provide transparent public information about our community-wide response to pandemic influenza. We will:
  • Inform the public about actions taken and actions they need to take
  • Create confidence in local response efforts
  • Speak with one consistent voice
  • Release accurate, complete and timely information as soon as possible
For current and up to date information please call the Swine Flu information line at 1-800-342-3557, 1-800-775-8039 or email the SWFD at info@swfd.org.


End

South Walton Fire District Participate in Pandemic Flu Training

2009-05-01,


The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) will be receiving advanced and timely training. On May 5 - 7, 2009, the Emergency Medicine Learning & Resource Center's Mobile Simulation Lab will be at the SWFD Headquarters Station located at 911 N. CR 393, Santa Rosa Beach, FL. The Emergency Medicine Learning & Resource Center (EMLRC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and advancing emergency medicine, disaster management, pre-hospital emergency care and public health through the provision of educational and research programs. The EMLRC provides lifesaving education to lifesavers.

The Mobile Simulation Lab is a 45-foot state of the art motor coach complete with a full ambulance bay and emergency department area to bring unlimited real life scenarios to first responders such as EMTs, paramedics, firefighters, emergency physicians, and nurses. "One of the scenarios we will be training on next week is the Pandemic flu. When I scheduled this training opportunity last year, I had no idea that this training would be so timely and relevant to what is currently going on in our Country", said Ryan Crawford, EMS Division Chief for the SWFD.

The "Mobile Simulation Lab" will offer SWFD firefighters with an interactive training approach with tactile simulation because of the realistic patient that engages participants in making appropriate decisions, taking timely actions, and preparing them for the unexpected. Video equipment and other monitoring systems are included in the lab so that the student and staff performances can be recorded and assessed at the end of simulations. The goal of this training is to promote patient safety and quality emergency care by providing first-hand simulation training experience.


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SWFD Enhances EMS Capabilities

2009-04-21,


During the South Walton Fire District's (SWFD) strategic planning process, the need for a complete provision of Advanced Life Support (ALS) status of all SWFD emergency response resources was identified.

Preparation for an additional unit to be designated ALS began with the development of the current fiscal year's budget, which included funding from the Florida County Grant Program to purchase the equipment required for this service enhancement. "By using this grant opportunity, the SWFD is able to enhance services without placing any added burden on taxpayers, a very important part of being good stewards of the public's money", said Sean Hughes Deputy Chief.

"After long anticipation, SWFD Truck 2 will be placed in service as a permitted Advanced Life Support (ALS) resource at Station 2, Watercolor on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 and will be ready to answer calls. Locating this additional ALS unit in the eastern end of our District will greatly improve our response capabilities", said Ryan Crawford EMS Division Chief.

Truck 4 located at Station 4/Mack Bayou Road is scheduled as a future enhancement project, which will complete the SWFD strategic vision of all SWFD frontline vehicles having a paramedic assigned. "Our newest ALS resource, Truck 2, and SWFD team members, have positioned the SWFD to advance our ability to deliver our mission of "Prompt, Competent, Caring Response in Time of Need", said Chief Crawford.


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SWFD Hosts Panhandle Fire Chiefs Meeting

2009-04-16,


The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) hosted a meeting on April 15, 2009 of the Region I (Panhandle) Fire Chiefs. Forty area Chief officers from Pensacola to Tallahassee were in attendance to receive a briefing from Nat Ippolito, President of the Florida Fire Chiefs Association (FFCA) and Fire Chief of San Carlos Park Fire District. Over the past several months, both Chief Ippolito and Jim Wile, Executive Director of the FFCA, have been conducting regional meetings. "We have found the meetings to be invaluable in the discussion of state, local, and regional fire service matters and trust that the information gained in these meetings will be of the utmost assistance in the development of our Strategic Plan during the first week in May." said Chief Ippolito.

Chief Ippolito reaffirmed his message by saying, "The economic climate is tough, but Florida has and will continue to prove that we will weather the economic storm, and as we have many times before, be an exemplary model for other states to follow." Through leadership and as good stewards of the public's trust and dollars, we must continue to develop strategies that will maintain the level of service that our community's demand and will contain the costs of delivering those services."

"The SWFD was pleased and honored to host President Ippolito and staff, as well as representatives from the MDA" said Rick Talbert, SWFD Fire Chief.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) was here to share their message of thanks to area fire departments for the past 50 years of support. "Firefighters are by far MDA's largest sponsor, and the untiring efforts of firefighters and paramedics have powered our service and research programs for decades", MDA President & CEO Robert Ross said. "This year, we want to take every opportunity to show our profound gratitude."


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Beach Wheelchairs Available

2009-04-08,


The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) in partnership with the Walton County Tourist Development Council (TDC) continually explore strategies to enhance the beach going experience. Through the Beach Safety and Education Program, our beaches are safer, but many visitors face hurdles to enjoy the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Limited mobility can present a challenge to some visitors from experiencing the sugar white sand and warm waters of the Gulf. Realizing this need, the SWFD and TDC developed a program that would provide three beach wheelchairs, strategically located along the Beaches of South Walton, to improve access to the beach. The wheelchairs were purchased by the TDC and the program is administered by the SWFD Beach Safety Division.

The wheelchairs are designed and constructed by Deming Designs, Inc. 1090 Cobblestone Dr. Pensacola, FL 32514. The wheelchairs are constructed from stainless steel tubing with large bubble tires that allow the chair to traverse the soft sand.

The wheelchairs will be located at the following beach accesses: Pompano Joe's (Miramar Beach), Ed Walline Park (Santa Rosa Beach) and Bramble Grove (Seagrove Beach) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from April through September.

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National Public Safety Telecommunications Week

2009-04-08,


The South Walton Fire District will honor the men and women who serve as public safety dispatchers and call takers during National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, April 12–18, 2009.

In South Walton and across the country in times of intense personal crisis or community-wide disasters, the primary access point for those seeking fire and EMS emergency assistance is 9-1-1. The SWFD communication operators, who receive these calls, provide the reassuring voice on the other side of the phone and the first point of contact for persons seeking immediate relief during an emergency.

Introduced to Congress by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International in 1991, National Public Safety Telecommunications Week is the second week of April each year. This week is dedicated to public safety telecommunicators who aid in providing 9-1-1 emergency assistance to the citizens and visitors of South Walton.

"Every day, many members and visitors to our community rely on the expertise and commitment of the men and women who staff our communication center." said Marc Anderson, Assistant Chief. In addition to answering emergency calls, most operators also field questions relating to all types of complaints, all the while juggling priorities to serve the public in the best and fastest way possible. These behind the scenes personnel are the indispensable link between the public and fire/rescue emergency response personnel who make the difference between life and death in many instances.

This week we are honoring our dispatch and call-taking personnel with a special thank you for all the hard, dedicated work they do each day, all year round.

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SWFD IT Director Receives Recognition

2009-04-08,


During the regular monthly meeting of the South Walton Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners, Fire Chief Richard G. Talbert presented a Certificate of Excellence from the Florida Department of Health to Information Technology Director Dan Bryan. Dan received this award for his outstanding contributions to the EMS Community and the advancement of EMSTARS (Emergency Medical Services Tracking and Reporting System) Partnerships.

The Florida Department of Health's Bureau of EMS recently created this new award program to recognize agencies and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the EMSTARS program. In presenting the award Chief Talbert stated, "The Department of Health is now referring agencies to Dan for help and guidance in setting up their reporting systems. This is a great accomplishment and has brought a positive light on not only Dan, but the SWFD as well, job well done."

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SWFD Lifeguards Pull Four from Rip Currents

2009-04-08,


On two separate occasions South Walton Fire District (SWFD) lifeguards entered rough waters in the Gulf of Mexico to rescue swimmers caught in rip currents. The first incident occurred at 11:22 a.m. behind 4190 CR 30-A when the SWFD Dispatch Center received a call of a swimmer in distress. SWFD lifeguards responded and pulled a swimmer from a rip current. SWFD paramedics treated and transported the patient to Sacred Heart Hospital for evaluation.

SWFD fire/rescue units and lifeguards responded to the second incident at approximately 1:17 p.m. behind 246 Beachfront Trail in the Seagrove Beach area. Upon the arrival of the first fire engine, 3 people were spotted trapped in a rip current approximately 40-50 yards off shore. A lifeguard responding by ATV from Tower 2, located 2 miles west of the incident, was forced to run the last half mile due to a washout of Eastern Lake. The lifeguard entered the water immediately with two rescue buoys and quickly secured all three victims. Caught in a strong rip current with 3 victims, the lifeguard fought his way to shore. Firefighters began CPR and advance resuscitative procedures on one victim. Two patients were transported from the scene, one in cardiac arrest.

Both of the incidents occurred with visible red flags posted. The South Walton Fire District is strongly encouraging residents and visitors to follow the advice of lifeguards and comply with the Red Flag Warnings. Conditions can be deceiving to the untrained observer. There are strong and dangerous rips formed along the coastline today. Paying attention to the above instructions can reduce the chances of injury or loss of life.

Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.

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Whale's Tail Restaurant burns in Miramar Beach

2009-03-28,


On Saturday, March 28, 2009 at 4:54 p.m., the South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call for a structure fire at the Whale's Tail, a popular beachfront restaurant/bar. The SWFD arrived 3 minutes later to find moderate smoke issuing from the structure. SWFD fire crews initiated an aggressive fire attack and the 2 alarm fire was brought under control at 5:28 p.m.

"Our firefighters did an excellent job controlling the fire. Fifteen to twenty mile per hour southerly winds, off of the Gulf of Mexico, fanned the fire while hampering hose streams", said Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief. "In addition, the building is located down a sand slope, which created challenges in deploying hose lines".

Occupants of the building reported that there were intermittent power outages throughout the day. The State Fire Marshal's Office has concluded that through their investigation the cause of the fire was an electrical malfunction of the ice machine in the kitchen.

The restaurant, a completely wooden structure, has been standing for at least 30 years in Miramar Beach, weathered by hurricanes and tornadoes.

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SWFD Lifeguards Save 2 from Rip Current

2009-03-29,

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) received a call at 6:40 p.m., reporting two distressed swimmers unable to get to shore behind Pompano Joe's Restaurant. SWFD units arrived on scene and reported two swimmers caught in a strong rip current. The lifeguards were able to quickly reach the distressed swimmers and bring them safely to shore. Both swimmers refused treatment.

Double red flag conditions had been posted at the time of the rescue, as well as two days prior. "The men, father and son, were caught in a very strong rip current and were exhausted when we reached them." said Gary Wise, Beach Safety Director. "We have been proactively warning people all weekend to stay out of the water to prevent such an occurrence, these surf conditions are deadly", said Wise.

The SWFD urges all beach goers to understand and heed the beach safety warning flags and the direction of lifeguards.

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Homes Evacuated as SWFD Battles 100 Acre Brush Fire

2009-03-26,


The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) responded to a report of a large brush fire that surrounded a structure at 653 Don Bishop Road with people trapped inside. At 4:02 p.m., five minutes after being dispatched to the call, SWFD units arrived on scene to find a large body of fire threatening a home. The house was immediately searched. With no one found inside the home, an aggressive attack was made on the fire to protect the structure.

As the fire quickly increased in size and intensity, additional Fire District and Division of Forestry units were called to assist. With the assistance from the Walton County Sheriff's Office, the north end of East Hewitt Road was evacuated as a precautionary measure. After approximately one and a half hours the fire was brought under control, leaving 100 acres scorched in its' wake. All 30 of the threatened homes were protected from any damage.

With the windy, dry conditions, SWFD is asking all residents and visitors to please use extra caution in preventing fires.

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Rough Surf / Rip Current Advisory

2009-03-20,

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) urges residents, visitors, and in particular Spring break beachgoers to use caution as east winds (15 to 20 knots with higher gusts) will result in 4 to 6 ft. seas, presenting a high risk of strong rip currents along Florida's Panhandle beaches this weekend through Tuesday. In addition to the rip current risk, rough surf and higher waves could result in minor beach erosion during high tide. By heeding the advice of local lifeguards and officials, residents and visitors to the Beaches of South Walton can reduce their chances of injury or loss of life.

"We're urging all beachgoers to follow the advice and direction of SWFD lifeguards and beach safety warning flags", said Gary Wise, SWFD Beach Safety Director. "We want everyone to enjoy our beaches this spring and return home safely."

SWFD officials and lifeguards want all residents and visitors to understand their swimming ability, be aware of rip currents, and learn how to get out of them safely and understand and adhere to the beach safety warning flags. A rip current is a channel of water that rapidly flows away from the shoreline.

Some important safety tips to keep in mind if you witness a person stranded in the water:
  • Get help from a lifeguard.
  • If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1.
  • Throw the rip current victim something that floats.
  • Yell instructions on how to escape. The best method is to swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle--away from the current--towards shore.
  • Remember, many would be rescuers drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.
For more information, please contact Sean Hughes, Deputy Chief at 850-267-1298.

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Kidde Recalls to Replace Fire Extinguishers

2009-03-13,

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of product: Kidde XL Fire Extinguishers
Units: About 167,000
Distributor: Walter Kidde Portable Equipment Inc., of Mebane, N.C.
Hazard: The pressurized cylinders in the recalled fire extinguishers could lose pressure and fail to operate. In the event of a fire, this failure could put a consumer and property at risk.
Incidents/Injuries: None reported.
Description: This recall involves the Kidde XL Fire Extinguishers with model numbers FX340SC, FX340H, FX340GW, XL5MR, FX210R, FX340SC-2, FX210W, XL2.5TCZ-4, E-340-3 and with manufacture dates between October 2007 and April 2008. "Kidde" and the model number can be found on the label on the front of the extinguisher. The manufacture year is on the bottom of the extinguisher. If your extinguisher is one of the listed model numbers and is marked with the year 07 or 08, contact Kidde to determine if you have a recalled extinguisher.
Sold at: Department, home, and hardware stores nationwide from October 2007 through April 2008 for about $35.
Manufactured in: Mexico
Remedy: Consumers should immediately inspect the pressure gauge. If it points to the red zone, contact Kidde to receive a free replacement extinguisher. If the gauge is not in the red zone, but you have questions about an extinguisher within the listed model numbers, please contact Kidde for additional information.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Kidde at (888) 345-4407 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's Web site HERE.

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Maytag Recall

2009-03-10,

Maytag Corp. of Newton, Iowa is recalling about 1.6 million refrigerators due to an electrical failure in the relay - the component that turns on the refrigerator's compressor - that can cause overheating and pose a serious fire hazard. Maytag has received 41 reports of refrigerator relay ignition, including 16 reports of property damage ranging from smoke damage to extensive kitchen damage.

The recall includes certain Maytag, Jenn-Air, Amana, Admiral, Magic Chef, Performa by Maytag and Crosley brand side-by-side and top-freezer refrigerators. The affected refrigerators were manufactured in black, bisque, white and stainless steel. They have model and serial numbers printed on a label located on the top middle or left upper side of the refrigerator liner and have the following model and serial number combinations:

On side-by-side refrigerators, serial numbers ending in AA, AC, AE, AG, AJ, AL, AN, AP, AR, AT, AV, AX, CA, CC, CE, CG, CJ, CL, ZB, ZD, ZF, ZH, ZK, ZM, ZQ, ZS, ZU, ZW, ZY and ZZ, and model numbers beginning with ARS, CS, JC, JS, MS, MZ and PS. On top-freezer refrigerators, serial numbers ending in AA, AC, AE, AG, AJ, AL, AN, AP, AR, AT, AV, AX, ZK, ZM, ZQ, ZS, ZU, ZW, ZY and ZZ, and model numbers beginning with AT, CT, MT and PT. Refrigerators with freezers on the bottom are not included in the recall.

Manufactured in the U.S., the recalled refrigerators were sold in department and appliance stores and by homebuilders nationwide from January 2001 through January 2004. They sold for between about $350 and $1600. Consumers who think they may have a refrigerator included in the recall should contact Maytag to find out. If their refrigerator is included in the recall, they can schedule a free in-home repair; they should not return the refrigerator to where it was purchased. For more information, consumers can call Maytag toll-free at (866) 533-9817, or visit the Web site HERE.

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New Fire Marshal Promoted

2009-03-05,

The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) has just promoted "one of our own" to the position of Fire Marshal, said Marc Anderson, Assistant Chief. "We are very excited that a member of our organization, Sammy Sanchez, has been promoted. The competition for the position was tough. We received over 50 applications and interviewed eight very accomplished candidates for the position." said Anderson.

The SWFD's Fire Marshal will work with public and private entities within the District and Walton County. He will be responsible in providing fire prevention/life safety education and guidance to our community and assistance to ensure that the National Fire Safety Codes are followed, providing for a fire safe community. Sammy Sanchez will be assuming his new responsibilities on Monday, March 16, 2009.

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Lifeguards Gear Up

2009-03-04,

Taken from WMBB News 13; by Jessi Chapin

(South) Walton County lifeguards are gearing up to protect beaches this season. A current class of about 30 guards has already hit the water and Friday they'll be certified to start shifts March 7th. But, the lessons leading up to that point aren't easy.

"Five straight days of beach training, come here every afternoon, do about an hour, hour and a half of board training and rescue training, 1.2 mile beach run every day," said 2nd-year lifeguard David Bulger.

For a "rookie" guard in training, it can be tough. Forty-five tried out this season and only 10 made the cut. Of those new guards, 7 remain in training.

"I'd say it's challenging," said 18-year-old Josh Teague who's training on the beach for the first time, "It's exciting, it's new, it's something different every day." ...


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SWFD ALS Competition

2009-02-02,

Twenty-seven Advanced Life Support (ALS) teams competed in Fire Rescue East in Daytona Beach recently. This competition was open to all ALS departments in the state of Florida, and this was the first time SWFD participated in the event. Our team, consisting of SGT/PM Daniel LaTour, FF/PM Tracey Crawford, FF/EMT Kenny Reynolds and FF/EMT Jerry Moss, placed 18th, ahead of agencies such as Miami-Dade, Tallahassee and Destin departments. One of our own, EMS Chief Ryan Crawford, was asked again to be a judge in the event, as he has done in previous years. "It was a learning experience, and we hope to participate in many more to come." said Chief Crawford proudly about his team. Fire Rescue East is an expo which is held anually in Daytona Beach.

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Two New SWFD Members

2009-01-26,

Nicole Davis will be joining the SWFD team as a Communications Operator. Nicole will be relocating from Melville, New York, where she has been employed since 2003 as a Critical Care Paramedic with NY Presbyterian Hospital.

Wayne Watts will be leaving Jacksonville Fire Rescue where he has served as a program manager in the Fire Rescue Training Division and was responsible for the development and implementation of new training programs. He will serve as our Training Division Chief.

On Monday, February 2, 2009, both Nicole and Training Chief Wayne Watts will begin their 40-hour orientation. We welcome both Nicole and Wayne to SWFD!

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Florida Department of Health Inspection

2009-01-07,

On Wednesday, January 7, 2009, the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, conducted a scheduled inspection of SWFD with the preparation and guidance of EMS Chief Ryan Crawford. We are proud to inform you that SWFD received "no deficiencies" in any categories of the inspection. The Compliance Officer, Shelly Lewis, reported that SWFD maintained standards of excellence in personnel records, vehicles, management, medical direction and Quality Assurance. This is the highest standard a department can be rewarded from the Florida Department of Health.

Also on a late note, SWFD received a plaque from the Florida Fire Marshal's office for excellence in reporting, to which Operation Chief Sean Hughes is responsible for. Congratulations to both parties for their diligence in meeting the high standards set forth by the state.

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New Paramedic Joins Ranks

2009-01-22,

Congratulations to Drew Williams and Derek Smith in not only obtaining their state paramedic license, but also passing their assessment with SWFD Medical Director Dr., Gary Pablo. Paramedic Williams and Smith will now be capable of serving SWFD in a solo paramedic capacity.

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