South Gulf County volunteer fire department offers more than protection

Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 09:33 AM.

Vacco estimated that there are 1,500-1,600 visitors to the Cape each week during the summer months. That’s more people than full time residents living in Port St. Joe.

“In some cases, that means 1,600 people who have never seen the water before,” said Vacco.

The joint chiefs see their role in accident prevention as being just as important as responding to an accident scene.

 “We try to be there for the people who are on vacation,” added Larsen. “Their friends are all back at home and in the event of emergency, we can be their support group.”

Lots of tourists return to the area year after year and Vacco and Larsen do their best to build relationships with the visitors, even if it’s only for a few short days during the summer.

Additionally, members of the fire department are heavily involved with community efforts that include food banks, Toys for Tots, creating and distributing Easter baskets, turtle patrol, Halloween events and numerous fundraisers with the Coastal Community Association and Sacred Heart Hospital on the Gulf.

The department’s biggest fundraiser, the annual Memorial Day Butt Roast is a time of food and fun that allows the department to raise funds to put back into the community.



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