The City of Panama City Fire
Department serves a beautiful coastal community with a population of
approximately 35,000. Panama City is located
in the central panhandle of northwest Florida along St. Andrews Bay.
This area is immediately adjacent to Florida’s Inter-Coastal Waterway
and the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Dynamics: In serving our community, the Panama City Fire Department is
composed of the Administrative Division, Operations Division, Fire Training
Division, Fire Prevention and Public Education Division, Logistics. Including
the Firefighters in the Operations Division the department’s total staffing
83 personnel working together in order to accomplish the single goal of
protecting our community from the perils of fires and other emergencies.
The Operations Division is lead by
the Assistant Fire Chief and staffed as follows:
Three Battalion Chiefs, five
Captains, thirteen Lieutenants, sixteen Engineers, and thirty-four
Division of Training, Fire
Prevention and Public Education consisting of a Division Chief, Lieutenant
Fire Inspector/Investigator, Civilian Fire Inspector/Investigator, and Fire
Prevention Support Specialist.
*For details on the specific
Divisions and their functions, see the additional page links on the navigation menu to the left..
Comprehensive Emergency Planning: The climate in Panama City is usually mild and very
pleasant. However, since the City is
located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, our Community is also subject to landfall
from hurricanes. While the Atlantic Hurricane Season spans from June
1st through November 30th of each year, Hurricane preparedness has become
essentially a year-round activity.
The Fire Department is responsible
for the Panama City “Comprehensive Emergency Operations Plan (CEOP)”. This plan is utilized to prepare, respond
to and recovery from various disasters that can impact Panama City. The CEOP is reviewed annually for needed
revisions. Once revised City Staff
tests the plan though annual exercises.
Through planning and training, the City of Panama City is always
prepared for a disaster.
In-Water Strike Team (JAWS): As the
City is essentially surrounded by water on three sides, the Panama City Fire
Department must be prepared the unique challenges created by this type of
local geography. Panama City sits along approximately 75 miles of
shoreline, has two City-owned Marinas, several private marinas, a deep water
port, and numerous other docking facilities, many with limited or restricted
access potential for a maritime and aquatic incidents requires our firefighters
to be well trained in personal water safety and water rescue.
In an effort to be prepared for
water related incident response, the Fire Department continually trains its
personnel in Water Rescue, Dive Rescue and Water Survival. As a part of
these programs, Firefighters learn the proper techniques to rescue struggling
swimmers and even how to remain afloat and personally survive if they find
themselves in the water while wearing full Firefighter Protective Clothing.
Obviously this type of training requires a considerable amount of time
and effort on the part of numerous firefighters. Based upon his
dedication of time, professional effort, and selfless contributions to the
training of Department personnel in water rescue, personal survival and
Underwater Search and Rescue, Firefighter Jerome Fleeman was recognized as
the 2009 Firefighter of the Year by the Panama City Jaycees.
and Rescue (USAR): The Panama City Fire Department is
also home to one of Florida’s Type II Light Technical Rescue or Urban Search
and Rescue Teams. Team #101 trains on a regular basis in order to be
able to respond to rescue events both in and around the Panama City area.
Lead by Team Leaders Battalion Chief Scott Flitcraft, Captain Shawn
Boyett, and Lieutenant Chris Burger, Team #101 stands ready to answer the
call for Confined Space Rescue, Structural Collapse Rescue, Trench Rescue,
High Angle Rope Rescue and Vehicle or Machinery Entrapment Rescue.