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Hundreds gather to celebrate WFD anniversary

The Walterboro Fire Department celebrated its 150th anniversary on Saturday with a community event that drew more than 250 people.

More than 200 people gathered together on Saturday to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Walterboro Fire Department.
The community event was hosted by the Walterboro Fire Department and by Walterboro city leaders. Approximately 253 people attended, according to Capt. Christ Cook, with the Walterboro Fire Department. Cook has been with the WFD for nearly 30 years. He began his firefighting career as a volunteer with this same agency before becoming a paid fireman.
Cook says the department had a goal of attracting about 256 people to the anniversary celebration.
Saturday’s anniversary event was held in the parking lot of the First Baptist Church and featured an array of activities for children and adults. This included a jumping castle, a kids’ firefighting challenge, and ice cream. The 150th anniversary of the department also showcased the department’s antique 1930 vintage fire truck and a display of rescue and firefighting gear.
Smoke detectors were also given away.
Lastly, the event included a firemen chili cook-off.
In preparation for the anniversary, city leaders prior honored the department through a resolution adopted by Walterboro City Council.
During the department’s growth over the last 150 years, it has gone from using a bucket brigade in 1869 to using a central water tank or well that was located in the ground near the current Colleton County Courthouse to now being a modern department. This occurred in 1906.
Now, the department includes 14 paid firefighters, four pumpers, one ladder truck, and one service truck.
Because of the fire department’s outreach and education to the community, Cook says the department’s calls have also decreased from 30-40 major residential construction fires to about three per year. “The use and education of fire alarms and the education that we do is all shown in the numbers,” he said in a prior interview. “We still have the fires that come from a pot on a stove, but the fires that displace a resident from the fire being fully engulfed have significantly decreased.”
The Walterboro Fire Department is responsible for fire coverage to all businesses and residents within the city’s limits, including the city’s parks and properties.

Heather Walters (1738 Posts)