Panama City Beach Government passes initiative to increase beach safety

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — Thursday, the Panama City Beach City Government passed an initiative to increase beach safety. The city will provide beach safety equipment and lifeguards to local beachside businesses through a private/public partnership.

“There has always been a need for more lifeguards, the problem has always been the funding aspect of it so that’s why we are endeavoring to get that elsewhere,” said City Councilmember Michael Jarman.

The city will still run the lifeguard program, but they will begin actively seeking local businesses to help become more involved and mitigate costs.

The initiative is already gaining positive reviews from local hotel staff.

“After all, everyone who comes to vacation to Panama City Beach, we want them to come back, year after year, so it’s important to keep them safe,” said Paul Bonnette, Director of Marketing at The Days Inn Panama City Beach.

Ultimately, City Councilmember Michael Jarman hopes that the program will provide assurance and safety to residents and tourists who decide to swim in the Gulf.

Businesses can apply for the partnership with the application found here.

The deadline to apply is August 1, 2020 and services are set to begin in March 2021.

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