On Monday, the South Walton Fire District officially welcomed two new fire trucks at stations in Miramar Beach and Inlet Beach. The Inlet Beach station also gained its first ambulance.

SANTA ROSA BEACH — The South Walton Fire District is gearing up with some new state-of-the-art equipment.

On Monday, the district officially welcomed two new fire trucks — roughly priced at $500,000 each — at fire stations in Miramar Beach and Inlet Beach.

“As this community continues to grow, we’ve got to keep up with the pace,” SWFD Chief Ryan Crawford said. “These are exciting times for us as a fire district and certainly exciting (times for me) as a chief.”

The new trucks will replace their roughly 10-year-old predecessors, which will now act as reserve trucks, Crawford said.

He added that “The Twins,” aka Engine 1 and Engine 5, boast upgrades including more horsepower, better maneuverability and larger water tanks.

Included in the Miramar Beach celebration was the addition of the station’s first ambulance, which Fire Marshal Sammy Sanchez said made the day a little sweeter.

“We’re excited about the whole thing, but the rescue is a plus,” Sanchez said.

He added that the district has four stations in addition to its headquarters in Santa Rosa Beach. They’re located in Miramar, Santa Rosa and Inlet beaches. Until Monday, all had ambulances except the Inlet station.

According to Maurice Gilbert, chairman of the South Walton Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners, the trucks were funded by a 1% tax on all real estate in South Walton. The board’s primary function is to manage SWFD’s finances, he said.

As a fire commissioner for more than 20 years, Gilbert added that the board works to help the district expand its resources alongside the developing 50-thousand-acre area that it covers.

“It’s really very gratifying ... for the citizens of South Walton to see the very latest in technology (and) the very latest in equipment put into service in a community that has extremely high growth,” he said.