BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – The Fourth of July weekend is one of Bay County’s busiest times.
Large crowds descend on the area to celebrate the birth of the nation from the beach.
Captain David Baldwin with the Bay County Sheriff’s Office oversees the west district. He said thankfully, the weekend went without any major incidents.
“Overall, it was a very good weekend,” Capt. Baldwin said. “The Gulf was behaving, and we didn’t have to deal with double red flag conditions all weekend, so the tourists were able to come in and enjoy the world’s most beautiful beaches.”
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office responded to 945 calls between July 1 and July 4, 100 of which were traffic stops.
There were also 62 suspicious person calls, 24 reckless driver calls, and 41 fireworks calls.
“Fireworks calls were about normal,” Capt. Baldwin said. “We do get the calls of fireworks going off and people thinking they are gunshots when they’re not and it’s fireworks. With the new state law, it is legal to shoot fireworks off on the Fourth of July now, so as far as the calls for service, they were high, but with the management and the support we have with all of our first responders and agencies in the county, we were able to handle them with no problem.”
Ascension Sacred Heart hospital emergency room numbers in Bay County for the Fourth of July weekend included 11 people with alcohol-related illness, one pediatric firework injury, and one near-drowning.
However, those numbers were relatively low compared to the number of people in the area.
“We heard from our lodging partners that they were at full occupancy or close to that, so just another successful Fourth of July here in Panama City Beach,” Visit Panama City Beach Public Relations Manager Lacee Rudd said.
While they won’t have the exact numbers until the end of the month, Rudd expects this year’s Fourth of July numbers to be comparable to last year.