South Gulf County Volunteer Fire Department

South Gulf County Fire Department Assists in Whale Stranding

Press Release from Gulf World Marine Institute.

Gulf World Marine Institute (GWMI) Stranding Team responded to a call on Saturday morning at around 7:30am. The call reported that there were two small stranded whales on Cape San Blas. GWMI’s asset providers, Gulf County Fire Department along with volunteers were first on the scene. They quickly assisted the distressed animals out of the rolling surf and onto the beach and waited for GWMI. When the GWMI team arrived they identified the animals as a mother calf pair of Dwarf Sperm Whales. This pelagic species (deep water animal) is commonly found in tropical to temperate oceanic waters from the Gulf of Mexico to Virginia.

Secret Holmes-Douglas, Director of Gulf World Marine Institute assessed the whales. The mother had labored breathing and had very poor body condition and the calf was not in much better condition. After consulting with NOAA Fisheries, they determined that the animals were not a candidate for rehabilitation and then humanly euthanized. The animals were transported to the NMFS lab in Panama City for a necropsy that was performed by the GWMI stranding team. Samples will be sent to NOAA Fisheries with the intention of determining the cause of the stranding.


EMILY is an Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard, basally a floatation device on steroids. She is remote controlled weighs 25 pounds and can be launched from anywhere. She has the ability to hold four full grown swimmers afloat once she arrives on scene. She travels at bursts of 25mph so it doesn’t take long for her to get there.

After a near drowning we decided we need to have the best equipment we could find to help when help is needed. So with the generosity of our community we purchased EMILY.

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

Caution in Construction Areas

We were recently dispatched to cover a single car accident on Cape San Blas Rd. at the first turn on the Eglin AFB property.  The driver had drifted off the right side and onto the soft shoulder, turnning the wheel to the left to try to get back on the road.  When the front-right tire finally gained purchase on the pavement, it was turned far to the left and the car shot across the road, hitting the berm on the other side and spinning around before coming to a stop.

Run Off Road

Please be careful, especially while they are repaving the road.  Many times this type of accident results in a roll-over.  If you run off onto the shoulder slow down before attempting to turn back onto the road.