PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — As thousands traveled to spend Labor Day weekend at the world’s most beautiful beaches, law enforcement officers were busy.
As both the Bay County Sheriff’s Office and Panama City Beach Police increased their patrols, the Panama City Beach Fire Department says they prepared just as they would every day.
“You can never predict what’s going to happen when we come to work here,” said Firefighter EMT Trent Poe.
Poe has been with the department for three years. He says the holiday weekends don’t impact their call volume. Instead, the entire summer season is busy.
“It’s truly the same. Especially in the summertime, we always have a big influx of people in the summertime,” said Poe.
Poe says the type of calls also remains the same. About 60% of the calls the station responds to is medical related.
Taking a look at the statistics, this year’s Labor Day weekend is actually slower than in past years.
Last year (2018), the station responded to just under 100 calls from Friday morning through Monday evening.
In 2017, during the same time frame for Labor Day, the station had just over 100 calls.
As of Monday afternoon of this weekend, the station only had 60 calls.
Poe says the department normally helps out during the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam but this year, the county took that over.
Even though the calls were slower, Poe says his team spent Monday morning training but didn’t do as much as they normally would.
“On a normal day, we train every day, every shift but on a holiday weekend, sometimes we do like to take it easy just in case we take that huge influx of calls,” Poe said.
Even though the weekend was slow, the department has still seen an increase in calls for this year.
On September 1, 2018, they responded to 3,461 calls. This year, they’ve already reached 3,900 calls.
The crew might’ve spent their holiday at work but celebrated with their own Labor Day meal of hamburgers, bratwursts and more.