PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Mexico Beach firefighters are learning how to use some new equipment.

Panama City and Bay County firefighters helped train them on Petzl EXO bail-out equipment on Wednesday.

The Bay County Fire Rescue used its skills, and the Panama City Fire Department used its resources to help train the Mexico Beach Fire Department on the equipment.

It’s a rope device firefighters can use to escape taller buildings.

Mexico Beach needs this ability because of new homes now being built on stilts.

Fire Chief Sandy Walker said it’s crucial for the department to learn these skills.

“Our tallest ladder at the moment is 26 feet, and some of those buildings are taller than that,” he said. “We’d like to use the ladders, but if we were to get trapped on a higher floor, we would need these bail-out kits to get ourselves out of that situation. That’s what it’s for. So it’s basically life safety for those who are trying to look out for you.”

Chief Walker said the full-day training for the bail-out system is intense.

The firefighters will have to perform the exercise flawlessly in zero-visibility conditions in order to use it in real-life circumstances.

Chief Walker and the Mexico Beach Fire Department thank the Panama City Fire Department and Bay County Fire Rescue for their support and assistance in Wednesday’s training.