PANAMA CITY, Fla. — The Robert “Bobby” Richardson fire station in Panama City is ready to go, set up for families to come in on October 11th for a look into station life.
“We’re going to give kids tours of the fire station, we have a mini-agility test set up,” said Panama City Fire Chief Alex Baird.
The agility test gives kids a chance to test their skills in a course modeled after the test the firefighters go through themselves.
“We’re hoping families can come out and get to know their firefighters,” said PCFD Lieutenant Billy Mixon.
Residents can learn all about the trucks, the gear and fire safety and prevention, which Chief Baird said is extremely important, especially now.
“We have been abnormally dry for the past several weeks,” he said.
This can lead to wildfires, as California is currently struggling with large blazes causing destruction around the state. Baird says the possibility of an event like that in the Panhandle is not out of the question.
“Chances are good that something like that could happen in Panama City,” he said.
“Right now, it is more likely to me than it would be at any other time,” said Lt. Mixon.
Downed trees are also contributing to concerns of wildfires in the area, but the department says residents can help to prevent them.
“No burning in the city of Panama City,” said Baird. “If you are going to burn in the county, you have to have a permit to burn.”
If you do have a permit, he said to make sure the burn container being used is legitimate and clean. He also said to have a fire extinguisher and hose handy, and always keep an eye on the flames.
“Don’t walk away from it,” he said. “All you have to do is turn your back on it and it could get out of control.”
The department asks for all residents to clean up after themselves when it comes to flammable materials, like cigarette butts. Mixon said a cigarette butt is suspected to have started a fire that firefighters responded to on Shell Island.
Taking those extra precautions now could save the area from potential disasters.