The Operations Division of the Panama City Fire Department is staffed by 73 State Certified Firefighters, working 3 rotating 24-hour shifts. The 3 operational battalions are managed by Battalion Chiefs Daniel Snapp, Chris Burger and David Collier. On a daily basis, Personnel in the Operations Division staff 4 Engine Companies and 2 Ladder Companies.
In addition to normal daily operations, the department also staffs a 28 ft. Fire / Rescue Boat and an exemplary Dive Team. We are the home of a Type II Light Technical Rescue Team. The team uses a Medium Rescue Truck to house the cache of specialized equipment that our Technical Rescue Team operates with. We were able to purchase this vehicle because of a Homeland Security Grant we received through Port Panama City. The Fire Boat, Dive Team, and Technical Rescue Team are all trained by members of our Operational Team who have received specialized training in specific disciplines to assure our members are operating at an optimum level.
The First to Respond
During calendar year 2016, the Panama City Fire Department responded to a total of 2,811 Incidents, with an average response time of 4.18 minutes for the first arriving Engine Company.
In looking at statistics for 2016, the department responded to fires in structures and other venues saving more than 9.6 million dollars in property.
In addition to the shift personnel, the activities of the Operations Division are directed by Assistant Fire Chief Gary H. Swearingen. Chief Swearingen's schedule is normally Monday - Friday and he is responsible for melding the three shifts together into a cohesive group in order to accomplish the department’s goals and objectives. The Operations Division is dedicated to protecting and serving the citizens of Panama City around the clock, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.
As the city's motto clearly states, we are: "Dedicated to Excellence, People Serving People." The dedicated men and women of the Panama City Fire Department give so much of themselves to make our organization a state of the art Fire Department and something that the Citizens of Panama City should be proud of.