PANAMA CITY BEACH Fla. (WMBB) – Bay County and Panama City Beach have increased water safety efforts.
Beach city officials are planning to station lifeguards at even more locations along the shoreline this spring and summer. They are holding lifeguard try-outs beginning next weekend.
Anastasia Adams is about the begin her third season of lifeguarding. The avid surfer said she is grateful she put down her board to pick up a whistle and life float.
“It’s a beautiful thing when you get to save a life,” Adams said.
Adams knew she made the right career choice after rip currents pulled a young child into the water. That is when her training took over.
“There was a rip that you could clearly see and kids were getting in it and I just remember hearing a guttural scream that came out of a child,” Adams said. “And of course, I dove in and got her out. That’s just a good feeling.”
This year Adams will be getting more help.
Panama City Beach is increasing lifeguard coverage on the east end. City Beach Safety Director Wil Spivey will increase his team to 16 lifeguards.
“We’ve got swim coaches, we’ve got parts of our team that are in great shape and they can help work with you on what skills you need to work on, different drills, and that type of thing,” Spivey said. “So the first thing is to arrange a try-out. We’ve set those dates for Feb. 5 Feb. 19 and March 5th.”
Those who pass the tryouts will learn about open water life-saving in double red flags conditions and basic medical treatment. Anyone 18 or older can apply.
“Retired military folks, it’s a great job for them,” Spivey said. “They’ve got the discipline and the physical fitness a lot of times.”
Tryouts will be held three separate weekends at Frank Brown Park. If you cannot make those dates you can still apply online. If you are interested, email Spivey at firstname.lastname@example.org to line up a tryout or interview.