A tradition can last a lifetime, and if you're lucky it'll go on for generations. This remains true for the Panama City Beach Fire Department, which is welcoming it's newest member to the team.
Station 2 near the Walmart on Middle Beach Road is using a new candy apple red fire truck, designed by the station's firefighters. They say it has the latest technology any team could ask for.
"With everything that goes on during spring break, this truck will keep us prepared for that." Tim Smith, one of the designers says.
The Fire Chief says station two usually gets the hand me downs, but now they can have something to be proud of.
With the help of a $500,000 BP grant, the city council voted to use it for a customized truck. it was time for an upgrade.
Councilman John Reichard says, "our fire department ride 3,600 times a year because they ride on every medical call, so we bought a fine new fire engine that will serve us over 20 years."
So to make it official, the 32 man team brought out a tradition from the storybooks called the ‘wash up'.
On Friday, they washed the truck before pushing it back into the garage.
Chief John Daly says the tradition stems from the days of the horse drawn fire engine. "The wash up was done at the end of the day. So since the horses couldn't back up, the vehicle was pushed in by the crew." Daly says.
"I think it's a great tradition. We're all new to this and starting a new tradition that we can continue doing is important to us." Smith says.
The truck now has in board surf rack specifically designed for water calls. It also has specialized cabinetry for medical emergencies.