Walton County Fire Station #12 had its Grand Opening Wednesday, July 7, 2021, at 300 Social Circle FairPlay Road in Social Circle. Fire Station #12, which houses the joint Walton County Dive Team, has had a temporary location at Hard Labor Creek Reservoir for several months, but has been in its new permanent location now for about two weeks, according to officials.
In his remarks at the Ribbon Cutting ceremony, WCFR Chief Kevin Hayney noted that having a fire station in this location helps with the ISO insurance rating for people who live in the surrounding area. The dive team and rescue van and boat are now housed at this location. A second search and rescue boat, under the control of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, is kept at the old temporary fire station near the boat dock of Hard Labor Creek Reservoir. Fire Station 12 has direct access to the boat dock area as well. The dive team is made up of members from both WCSO and WCFR.
WCFR Chaplain Rick Baker blessed the new station, Haney gave a few words before cutting the ribbon, and then the traditional opening of the station was carried out by officials performing the “push-in” of Engine #12 into the parking bay. This “push-in” tradition dates back to more than 100 years ago when fire trucks were pulled by horses. They had to be unhooked and taken into their quarters for feeding while the firemen pushed the fire trailer backwards into the station to be ready to halter the horse or horses next time it was needed. Since fire trucks have been motorized, it is still traditional for the ceremony to be performed at a new fire station or when a new fire engine is bought into the fleet.