The Oyster Cook-off Board, formally known as the Apalachicola Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary, would like to congratulate two of the department’s volunteer firefighters, Rhett Butler and Adam Joseph, on their receiving Fire Fighter 1 Certification in October.

Butler and Joseph attended 206 hours of firefighter training this summer through night classes and weekend training days, at the Eastpoint fire house, under the auspices of the late Brad Price, fire coordinator for Gulf County. Both Butler and Joseph fit these all-volunteer training hours around their full time jobs and families.

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of its annual Oyster Cook-off, the board was thrilled to be able to pay all the training costs for these two hard-working volunteers and as promised, purchased each one a full set of new bunker gear when they received their Fire Fighter 1 certification.

The purpose of the AVFD Auxiliary and the annual Oyster Cook-off fundraising event is to raise money for the city’s volunteer fire department. Its top priority is to pay a portion of the fire truck payment and when Truck #1 was paid off three years early, the auxiliary was able to pledge assistance to the city for the new truck - Truck #3 - delivered in September.

The second priority is to pay for any training classes and certification for department’s volunteers. If they can go, they will send them! And lastly, to provide safe, new equipment for the certified volunteer firefighters.

“We couldn’t do this without the tremendous community support we’ve had over the past eight years of the Oyster Cook-off,” said Shelly Shepard, board treasurer. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we sure hope to see you again for the ninth annual Oyster Cook-off, on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019.

“And when you see Rhett or Adam out and about, please take a minute to shake their hands and say ‘Thank You!’” she said. “These guys - and all our volunteer firefighters - give up so much of their time to help our community in times of need. We are grateful!”