PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Year-round, first responders work hard to protect the community. Bay County Fire Rescue did just that during the holiday weekend.
Between Monday morning and last Friday, they responded to several structure fires.
“It’s the holiday weekend so with families and visitors coming into town, we do have an influx of fires,” Bay County Fire Rescue Captain Gabriel Moschella said. “We also run mutual aid with South Walton and Automatic Aid with Panama City Beach, which one of our fires was in South Walton area, which was a mutual aid call out for us there.”
Being away from their families during the holidays is not ideal, but Captain Moschella said it’s part of the job.
“They don’t get to spend time with their families this Christmas Eve and Christmas,” Moschella said. “They were out serving the community. That’s what we signed up to do. We love it. Never once would we ever complain about it. It’s something we sign up for.”
While a handful of emergency calls were fire structures, first responders were busy with other incidents, too.
“From the freezing weather and some of our sprinklers have malfunctioned, flooding some units, we’ve seen that,” Moschella said. “A lot of medical calls, just a lot of unfortunate events happen during the holidays.”
It was not just Bay County Fire Rescue working hard on the calls over the weekend. They worked alongside first responders from Panama City Beach, Panama City, and South Walton.
“We’re all in it to do the same mission, our mission statements are the same, we run off the same policies, the same SOGs (Standard Operating Guidelines), we’re just like a single unit basically running out there.”
Captain Moschella said Bay County Fire Rescue firefighters are selfless and think about the community and the people more than anything else.