PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — The Panama City Beach Fire Department will soon step into its newest home, Station 30.
The nearly 6,000 square foot facility is located on Nautilus Street, and where Chief Larry Couch says is the center of the city.
Construction has been going on for nearly a year now and Couch says things have been going as planned but they have seen some hiccups.
“Right now they’re putting sheetrock, all the electrical, all the overhead is being done. We’ve had some humps in the road we’ve come across getting power, gas and all that to the station because none of that area is developed back there so that’s what’s really taking the time,” Couch said.
Those issues are bumping up costs but Couch says the benefit of the new station far outweighs the money.
“There’s not an incident that we couldn’t go on. Adding station 30 is going to cut response time down considerably in the center of the city. “
He says even their most difficult to get to areas will see an increase in response time.
“If you have to go back into Colony Club, that was always our longest response time from station 31. It’ll cut in half. The people in the Bid-A-Wee area and Seclusion, around Surf Side Middle School, all of that area is going to response time cut from 5-7 minutes to three to four.”
The newest station will also serve as a training facility.
“Our business has changed so much in the last 10 years, anything could come across that radio and we have to be prepared the best we can to provide services in those instances that could happen.”
Couch says they are hiring 18 more people to join the force, nine of them already are on staff.
Couch says they hope to move into the new station by April.