Fla. FD expands to meet growing city needs
New responsibilities will also be coming to the beach departments as Beach and Surf Patrol responsibilities are moved to the fire department in October
The News Herald, Panama City, Fla.
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — A wall raising ceremony took place to celebrate construction starting on the new Panama City Beach fire station on Thursday.
The facility is being built at 160 N. Nautilus Street in Panama City Beach, near the Harley-Davidson.
"The city has grown," Debbie Ward, Panama City Beach Public Information Officer, said. "The current fire stations are located kind of at opposite ends of the city limits. This would be a central fire station for the center of the population and more of the center geographically because of the growth."
Reliant South Construction Group was awarded the task of general contractor for the building, with design by DAG Architects.
The operations won't necessarily be different, but the department will be larger and brand new. The city expects construction to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2020.
The concrete facility will be 15,569 square feet, have 11 private dorm rooms, seven bathrooms, a classroom and exercise room and sustain winds up to 155 miles per hour. The facility will have a connecting road to Bay Parkway and Panama City Beach Parkway through Nautilus Street, and have a connector road to both the wastewater treatment plant, street department and underground utilities on Gulf Boulevard.
New responsibilities will also be coming to the beach departments as Beach and Surf Patrol responsibilities are moved to the fire department in October. Currently, the patrol is under the police department.
"It is moving under the fire department and some of the firemen are getting certified where they can do beach rescue as well," Ward said. "So it's kind of an expansion of that task."
"It's been kind of scattered. The lifeguards at the beach have been under the parks and recreation department and the beach and surf patrol has been under the police department," Ward continued. "Because the fire dept tends to be there for the water rescues, removing them, just consolidating the lifeguards and the beach and surf and putting them under the fire department. They are the paramedics, they are the EMT trained."
©2019 The News Herald (Panama City, Fla.)