PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Summer can be a hectic time for our local lifeguards– especially being short-staffed.

Bay County Fire and EMS, as well as some Bay County Sheriff’s Deputies, learned a new way to help.

The local first responders were out early Friday morning at the M.B. Miller County Pier practicing staged rescues.

One person would get in the water to play the part of a person in distress.

Then the officer driving the jet ski would swing by to rescue them.

Bay County Beach Operations Manager Vincent Martin said at the end of the day, they’re all one big team, working together to ensure safety at the beach– especially on the days the water is extra rough.

“Stay out of the water on double-red flag days. We’re not here to give anybody a bad vacation,” Martin said. “We want everybody to go home safe at the end of the day. We just want people to listen to our lifeguards and the sheriff’s department and the EMS staff that’s doing surf rescue. Just listen to them.”

About 10 people attended this first jet ski training to kick off the summer season.

Martin said this practice is important because using the jet ski is a lot faster than swimming out to someone in the water.

He said they also might use their skills to pick up floats and other items lingering in the Gulf of Mexico.