PANAMA CITY BEACH — Councilman Paul Casto says he hopes town’s first public-private partnership to fund extra lifeguards will encourage different companies to additionally assist defend beachgoers.
Throughout a Metropolis Council assembly Thursday, officers authorised a seashore security service settlement between Panama Metropolis Seashore and Resort Hospitality Enterprises to place two additional lifeguards alongside the seashore close to the Boardwalk Seashore Resort from April by way of October.
Based on the assembly’s agenda, PCB has tried to extend the variety of lifeguards on its seashores since 2019 by inviting beachfront companies to companion with town in hiring extra.
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Resort Hospitality Enterprises is the primary to enter into such an settlement.
“This can be a nice day for Panama Metropolis Seashore,” Casto mentioned. “This (new) public-private partnership, I am hoping, might be contagious and the opposite companies will take part and (additionally) present lifeguards.”
By the settlement, town will rent and practice the extra lifeguards simply because it does all others. However they’ll solely patrol the seashore behind Boardwalk Seashore Resort.
Resort Hospitality Enterprises will then reimburse town for the bills, in addition to pay for all lifesaving gear utilized in its space.
“This … will change the sport for lifeguards on Panama Metropolis Seashore,” Casto mentioned. “It will put extra lifeguards down on the white sandy seashore and assist cut back the drownings.”
Previous reviews state that six beachgoers drowned this yr within the metropolis limits. That’s half the quantity from final yr.
PCB lifeguards additionally rescued greater than 1,800 distressed swimmers this yr, about 1,200 greater than throughout 2020.
Chief Ray Morgan of the Panama Metropolis Seashore Hearth Rescue, which oversees PCB’s seashore security division, agreed with Casto that the settlement is an unprecedented achievement for town.
Morgan additionally famous through the assembly that his division has “exhausted” its sources over the previous few years to raised defend beachgoers by itself.
“That is the fruits of lots of work (from) lots of totally different people to place collectively a partnership that bridges the hole between authorities and the personal sector to come back collectively and work to make our seashores safer,” he mentioned. “I could not be extra pleased with the work that each one crew members have put in and particularly our (new) companions who need to be sure that this seashore is protected.
“We could not do it with out them.”
This text initially appeared on The Information Herald: Panama Metropolis Seashore hiring lifeguards by way of partnerships with enterprise