PANAMA CITY BEACH Fla. (WMBB) — Panama City Beach Fire Rescue is one step closer to getting a new state of the art fire training tower.
Wednesday, the Panama City Beach council approved the architectural contract for a brand new state of the art fire training tower. The majority of this project will be funded by a state grant.
Fire officials say it’s going to be crucial to keeping firefighters at the top of their games.
It will have multiple floors and will be used to conduct real world exercises.
Deputy Chief Justin Bush said right now PCB Fire Rescue has to rely on the community for training space. He said this will put that necessity in their own backyard.
“It will be multiple floors and then it is going to multiple setups of different types of layouts that we encounter and structures,” Bush said. “Also some quote on quote things that we can tear up some forcible entry props so we can practice those skills and put ladders to the building.”
The state is going to kick-in a little more than 600 thousand dollars to build the tower.
Mayor Mark Sheldon said the city will come up with the difference, which will probably be about 200 to 400 thousand dollars.
“We are looking to make sure we have the best fire and police team we can have out there,” Sheldon said. “This fire tower will give our fire department an amazing amenity and amazing resource to make sure they are trained and they have the best opportunity to do the best they can for our citizens.”
Beach fire officials also say they will make the tower available for all Bay County fire departments to train their firefighters.
Mayor Sheldon said they are hoping to start within the next year. As soon as the design is finished shovels will be in the ground.