South Gulf County Volunteer Fire Department

Board Election Aug 21

The annual election of the Board of directors took place August 21 and your new Board is: Steve Langford - President, Vince Bishop - Vice-President, John Lounsbury - Secretary, David Sapte - Treasurer, Bill Kroll - Director, Vic Ramos - Director, Mark Knapke - Director The new Board expressed their thanks and appreciation to those retiring members. Jim Caughey as a past Chief and President, Sandi Christy as a past-Board Member and Treasurer, Melissa Larsen as a past-Chief and Board Member, and Nick Vacco as our most recent past-Chief - all of whom have made a great contribution to the development and progression of the Fire Department

New PIO Appointed

Please welcome Julia Cunningham to our Admin Team as our Public Information Officer (PIO). Her primary responsibility will be to deal with all media relations on any topic the Fire Chief feels is important to distribute to our community. Much like a marketing director, she will be our departments face and voice.

If you have any ideas that will gain public support for our mission, please let us know.


SGCVFD has donated a second ZOLL Automated External Defibrillator (AED) this one went to The Port St. Joe Dixie Softball and Baseball leagues. As we hope they never have to use, being well prepared could mean the difference between life and death if SCA strikes.

In New Hampshire, Matt Keene, a 17-year-old high-school student is thankful that there was an AED at his school. Following a football practice he went into cardiac arrest, and because his school had a ZOLL AED Plus, his life was saved. Matt now is a prominent figure in the Legislature, telling his story in hopes that his state will mandate AEDs in all NH schools.

(SCA)  Sudden Cardiac Arrest strikes people of all ages and fitness levels, usually without warning. Many more lives can be saved if trained bystanders act promptly and phone 911, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and provide defibrillation within minutes. The 2010 American Heart Association (AHA) Guidelines stresses the importance of high-quality CPR and the availability of an AED to help improve outcomes in a cardiac arrest. .


New Fire Trucks

In the past couple of years, we have received delivery of 4 new vehicles.
A Ford F-150 Beach Rescue Vehicle #596 and a Ford F-250 support truck #594.  Truck #596 paid for out of our generous donations and butt roasts.  It has been used extensively for transport from the beach to the ambulance, and as a quick response and basic life support vehicle.
We also received our new E-One 50' Teleboom aerial pumper #591.  This is permanently positioned at Station#2 and is availble for use 24/7.
Finally, we have just received delivery of the new Ford F-450 Brush Truck #597.  The chassis was paid for out of donations received and the build was paid for from part of a State Grant received by the Fire Control District. 

Click here for pictures of these new trucks.

A Really Big Thank You

Major grants and donations have been received from the T Douglas Hale Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation and The Miller Charitable Foundation Inc. as well as other amounts received from local businesses, organizations and individuals.

Safety Blog

Beach Roll-over Kills 1, Injures Another

Money Bayou RolloverEarly Thursday morning, August 21, 2014, SGCVFD was called to the south beach area by Money Bayou. An SUV had rolled over several times, coming to rest on its roof in the surf.  Both occupants were ejected.  One occupant's legs were pinned in the surf by the SUV.  He died as a result of his injuries or by drowning.  The other occupant experienced critical injuries and was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital, where he was Life-Flighted to Bay Medical Center in Panama City.

It has not been determined at what time the event happened, but it could have been hours before it was discovered by vacationers and called in.  The surviving occupant appeared to be suffering from hypothermia.

Several factors contributed to this tragic event

  • Excessive speed - A beach is not a paved road. There are ruts, bumps, holes, logs, chairs, and people all over the place.  This is the reason that the beach driving ordinance has put the speed limit at 10 miles per hour.
  • Rapid direction change in the sand - Even on the hard-packed sand, when a vehicle changes direction, the leading tire digs into the sand.  If this change is fast enough or the speed high enough, it can cause a vehicle to roll over.  SUV's are especially prone to this since they are top-heavy compared to two-wheel drive vehicles.

  • Failure to wear seat belts - If these victims were wearing seat belts, death and severe injury would probably not been the result. Even though the vehicle was in the water, the passenger compartment was not submerged.

This is the second event like this we have had in the past year.  Please be careful when driving on our beaches.