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WFD to celebrate 150th anniversary

The Walterboro Fire Department is celebrating its 150th anniversary by hosting a hands-on community event, as city leaders have also honored the department through a resolution.
In honor of the 150th birthday of its fire department, the Walterboro City Council recently adopted a resolution honoring the fire department and recognizing its 150th anniversary.
The WFD’s public celebration of its anniversary is being held on Nov. 2nd from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the First Baptist Church parking lot.
The celebration will consist of jump castles for children, a blow-up fire safety house for youth, a demonstration of older fire equipment, ice cream giveaways, and a kids’ firefighting challenge.
The department will also have its vintage 1930’s fire truck on display, along with a demonstration and display of firefighting gear and rescue equipment.
In addition to the activities, the department and its firefighters will also be giving away free smoke detectors to members of the community.
Additionally, the firemen are hosting a chili cook-off.
As a part of this celebration, city officials have closed Lucas Street, between Hampton and Carn Streets, for four hours during the celebration.
“We want the community to see how much the fire department has grown, and how safe our community is now compared to what it was years ago,” said Capt. Chris Cook, with the Walterboro Fire Department. He has served the local WFD for nearly 30 years and began his firefighting career as a volunteer firefighter before becoming a paid fireman.
“It has been very rewarding,” he said.
The department’s calls have 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. “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 was first established in 1869 and used a bucket-brigade as part of its firefighting service. In 1906, the department got its first water system installed as a water tank and well, which is located near the current Colleton County Courthouse.
This well water system helped to turn it from a bucket brigade to a water-source department.
The department has grown over the years, and currently encompasses 14 paid firefighters, four pumpers, one ladder truck, and one service truck.
The department covers all houses and commercial businesses inside the city’s limits and is led by WFD Chief Paul Seigler.
The Walterboro Fire Department also boasts an ISO rating of a three. This low rating is considered excellent and is a reflection of the department’s efficiency, education, equipment and the proximity of fire hydrants to residents and businesses.

Heather Walters (1738 Posts)