A little history…
About Local 2601 & the FWBFD
Why are we union? Please read here
IAFF Local 2601
Fort Walton Beach is located between Pensacola and Panama City BeachFlorida…
History Fort Walton Beach, IAFF Local 2601
IAFF Local 2601, the Fort Walton Beach Professional Firefighters Association, was established in the mid 70′s. The firefighters union has seen many struggles and successes over the years ranging from a privatization fight in the early 80′s, to obtaining top ranking wage and benefits in the late 80′s early 90′s, and to picketing city hall in the late 90′s due to poor management and poor benefits. Fortunately, the firefighters association has always been a strong organization with strong leadership. The executive board of IAFF Local 2601 works closely with the fire chief with one common goal, to improve the fire department and take care of the people. Local 2601 has 38 members with all personnel in the department being card carrying members, something of which we are extremely proud.
There have been 5 presidents since 1990. Rick Moak who was president through out the 90′s. Rick retired from the FWBFD as an Engineer. Gary Krushcke served as President during the late 90′s and was very instrumental in leading the union during some difficult times. Gary currently holds the rank of captain and is assigned to Engine Company 7 on B-shift. Gene Large stepped up and served as president for a short period during the year 2000. Gene currently holds the rank of Battalion Chief and is assigned to A-shift. Anthony “Oy” Brady served as president during the years of 2001-2002 and led the union during difficult times with our now resigned fire chief. Shannon Stone was the president from December of 2002-2008 and made great strides in the relationship with the city staff, city council, and the union while Larry Diamco has finished the last couple of years and has been instrumental in keeping our staffing at acceptably safe limits.
About the FWBFD
FWBFD is a fully career FD made up of 33 line Firefighters, the Staff consisting of Chief, Deputy Chief, Senior Staff assistant, Fire Marshal and 2 inspectors. The City of Fort Walton Beach Fire Department was established in 1941 with all volunteer force and operated as such until 1954 when the first fire chief was hired. The City FD operated as a combination department until the early 80′s when the department transformed into a fully career department. The very first fire station the City operated was located downtown on 1st street. It was moved in the mid 50′s and is currently in service as station 6 located on Hollywood Blvd. in downtown FWB. A second station was opened up on the north part of the city in 1974 and houses Engine Co. 7. The City FD operates under an automatic aid agreement with 7 other fire departments, 4 of which cover the FWB metro area of approximately 120,000. The City Fire Department’s 2 stations are housed with 1 Truck company (TRUCK CO. 6) staffed with 4, a Rescue (Rescue 6) staffed with 2, and a Battalion Chief (BATTALION 6) that run out of the downtown station 6. City FD station 7 houses 1 Engine Company (ENGINE CO. 7) and is staffed with 4. All of the fire departments that serve the FWB metro area are union houses. The brothers of the Ocean City-Wright FD protect the north side of FWB with 3 stations, 3 engine companies (E1, E2, E3), 1 Ladder Company (Tower 1) and 1 Rescue Company (R1). The west side of FWB is protected by the brothers of the Mary Esther FD which houses 1 Engine Company (E11) with 1 station. The members of this department just recently organized…our congrats go out to them! The southeastern side of FWB (The “beach” side) is covered by the brothers of Okaloosa Island FD running 1 engine company (E4) and 1 truck company (T4) out of 1 station. And holding it down just to the east of FWB (about 1.5 miles) are the brothers of the Destin FD who run 2 engines companies and 2 ladder companies out of 2 stations. All the departments work under an automatic aid response agreement. Even though we collect pay checks from different employers we still operate like one department.
FWBFD is Non-Transport Advanced Life Support Service and runs a minimum of one paramedic on the companies at all times. The executive board of local 2601 worked diligently with the fire chief for more than a year to make the ALS program a reality. The members of Local 2601 are very proud of this program. Truck Co. 6 boasts the busiest fire company from Pensacola to Tallahassee with running more than 2400 calls a year, now this volume is split with the Rescue to handle most of the Med calls.
T-6 company is manned with 1 Captain, 1 Engineer, 1 Firefighter/ Paramedic and 1 Firefighter EMT. This company sees a wide varity of calls and is on 1st alarm on just about everything in the FWB and parts of Destin. The downtown area which Truck Co. 6 protects is made up of residential and commercial occupancies. This area has a lot of older structures, old neighborhoods, several housing projects and the downtown tourist area. Truck Co. 6 and Engine Co. 1 (OCWFD) by far catch the most fires in the Tri-county area. If there is something burning in the FWBand surrounding area, chances are you will see the members from from TRUCK 6 and ENGINE 1. The firefighters in this station take great pride in being the busiest house in the panhandle. Without a doubt, you will find some of the best firefighters in the panhandle working on TRUCK Co 6 and Rescue 6. The men and women of local 2601 are proud to be a part of this company.
Local 2601 Burn Out Fun
The burn fund was created to assist our citizens after the fire. What we do as an Association is give to those in our community financial assistance to help offset the cost of rebuilding their property and lives after the devastating results of a fire. As many of you we are in the business of “saving lives AND property” and sometimes the property does get damaged heavily as a result of extinguishment. Local 2601 is commited to helping unfortunate families and to raise funds for this account so we can be able to give to those who we protect. If you are interested in assisting us in any way feel free to contact any of the e-board to see how you too, can be a part of helping our community! Remember we are a non-profit organization aimed at educating you the public about our career and way of life. All proceeds of designated fund raisers go to the burn out fund unless otherwise stated.Our giving extends beyond our community… Local 2601 also actively participates each year in the MDA boot drive, the MDA summer camp, Relay for Life(We cook for the walk-a-thon, cook for the spaghetti luncheon and usually help any way we can), Chili cook off @ the mall( we donate proceeds to the United Way and other charities) just to name a few! We regularly give to other “brothers” in the fire service from all over the nation. Many times other fire department associations write to us asking for financial assistance to help a fellow firefighter fighting cancer or other health related needs and we feel, as a part of the firefighter family that stretches all around the world, that we have an obligation to donate what we can to these causes and associations. Thank you for taking a moment to learn about FWBFD Local 2601 and what we do. We hope you better understand our career, purpose, and livelihood!…