The Bagdad Volunteer Fire Department celebrated its 50th anniversary this weekend, giving back to the community by offering a glimpse into the fire station and equipment and exhibiting a demonstration of life-saving techniques.
Bagdadpulled out their fire fighting arsenal for public viewing. The fire fighters fielded questions from the community regarding how the equipment works, what it's used for and opened the doors for the public to get in and get a first-hand look. A lucky few managed to spray the fire hose off of one of the fire engines.
It was also an opportunity to educate about fire safety. Tours were brought through a mobile trailer, borrowed from the Midway Fire Department. The trailer simulated emergency situations, complete with smoke, faux-flames and lightning, providing the opportunity to teach children how to react in emergency situations like a house fire or tornado.
A live demonstration was put on, showcasing extraction techniques that the department uses in motor vehicle accidents. The volunteer department ripped the doors off a Pontiac, and cut the roof off with hydraulic tools, such as the jaws-of-life, also known as "spreaders."
The department was joined by the Florida Forest Service, who displayed their wildfire equipment. The FFS uses bulldozers and plows to move earth and choke out fires, where there are no hydrant system available. Their wildfire prevention clown helped out painting faces, throwing Frisbees and giving instructional tours of the bulldozer on display.
Other fire departments and EMS services swung by to show their support for fellow firefighters. Avalon, Skyline, Whiting Field and Lifeguard Ambulance Services made a presence at the anniversary.
The fire department was established in 1963 at 7043 Oak Street. For years, the station relied on hand-me-down equipment from other agencies. Their first new truck was purchased in 1985 and is still in operation today.
A new station is currently under construction 1.4 miles south of the current location, on Windwood Lane, across from the Quikrete property. Rain this summer has slowed construction down, according to Chief Nick Anderson. The foundation has been laid, and the metal siding of the building is pending delivery. Tentative estimates put completion of the project early next year.