In July of 1948, Reverend T. Wright and 19 other men formed the Seatack Volunteer Fire Department. Seatack is the area near the Virginia Beach Blvd. and Birdneck Road intersection. Wright suggested that if a local fire department was formed, the Seatack residents, located in Princess Anne County, could save the 450 fee that the nearby Virginia Beach fire station charged for calls outside the Beach Borough.
During the summer of 1948, the volunteer firemen raised $2,500 dollars to purchase a used pumper from the Oceana Volunteer Fire Department. It was a 1924 Holabird powered by a Continental engine and had a 300 gallon per minute pump with a 700 gallon water tank. The truck was stored in a shed until they moved into the old Seatack Elementary School. Firefighting gear was obtained from the Beach Borough fire station and intense training began. Beach Borough Fire Chief E.B. Bayne often trained the Seatack volunteer firemen in the hose drills at the Oceana High School. In the early 50’s,a Ladies Auxiliary unit was formed and assisted the firemen by raising money through bake sales to purchase much needed equipment.
In 1951, The Seatack, Community School deeded the property to the Seatack Volunteer Fire Department and during the same year, funds were appropriated to purchase a Chevrolet chassis. Local fire apparatus builder Chuck Kadis mounted a 300 gallon per minute pump an 800 gallon water tank on the chassis for the total sum of $5,499. A used panel truck was also placed in service that year and was utilized as a salvage truck.
In 1965, a Ford/Oren pumper was a purchased and placed in service. A 3000 gallon Autocar tanker was also placed in service during this time.
On Friday January 5, 1968, Seatack members Captain Silas Hyman, Preston Watkins, and Dace Pactor rushed into a burning home on Birdneck Road and rescued a 52 year OLD MAN OVERCOME BY SMOKE. Their speedy actions saved the man’s life.
In 1972, a new Ward LaFrance pumper was placed in service as well as a new salvage truck. In 1981, the Seatack volunteer firemen released their state charter and building and the city took over the repairs of the station. The old building was beginning to become too costly to maintain and the front apron was too close to Birdneck Road. In 1982, a new fire station was built on Birdneck Road near General Booth Blvd. The $610,000 facility has two drive-through bays and modern facilities. Today, three firefighters and one captain per shift operate a 2003 America LaFrance telesquirt. Their coverage is primarily the General Booth Corridor and they assist Co. 11 towards the oceanfront and Co. 21 towards Strawbridge.
The first officers elected in 1949 were:
David T. Wright-President
Joseph V. Grimstead- Vice President
Arron Parsons- Recording Secretary
Harry L. Robinson- Financial Secretary
John W. Sharpe- Treasurer
Cyclester Shaw- Fire Chief
The Marine Team at Co 12 provide a specially trained marine response capability for firefighting, search and rescue, HAZMAT and emergency incident mitigation within the impounded waterways of the City and the coastal areas in support of the City of Virginia Beach Safe Community and Homeland Security initiatives, and Implements policies and procedures to enhance emergency preparedness/disaster recovery mission.
Fire Boat 12 is a refurbished 1977 U.S. Coast Guard 41’ UTB with a primary response area out of Rudee Inlet at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront spanning from Cape Henry Tower to the North Carolina line in the Atlantic Ocean. Members of The Marine Team at Co 12 undergo annual swim qualifications, attend the VA Port Authority/USCG Search & Rescue Forum, VA Port Authority/Marine Incident Response Team’s Shipboard Firefighting, and have all attended the underway portion of USCG’s Boatswains Mate “A” School in Yorktown, VA.