Fire Department looking for new type of director

Local News

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Back on October 1, the Panama City Beach Fire Department took over the lifeguard program in the city.

This program is a combination of the Parks and Recreation lifeguards and the police department’s beach and rescue.

Now, Fire Chief Larry Couch says they are looking for a Beach Rescue Division Director to help oversee the new agency.

Couch says the search for this person has been tough and he’s only been able to offer the position to one person who was properly qualified.

On Thursday night, Couch discussed changing the way the job is advertised at the city council meeting. He wanted to alter the name of the position.

Another issue Couch says he is having is the salary that comes with the job and how much lower it is compared to other cities. Couch says the offered salary was about $40,000 to $45,000.

To help out, the city council gave City Manager Mario Gisbert the okay to increase the salary for the position, hoping to find the right person.

“I think the council is moving in the right direction with this and it’s going to help. It’s just finding that one person that wants to be with those lifeguards in Northwest Florida. We’ve got to get that person in here to build a program that’s going to work for the tourists and the citizens of Bay County,” said Couch.

The position has been open for a little over a month.

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