FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — Technology is constantly changing, including lifesaving equipment for the Fort Walton Beach Fire Department (FWBFD). 

Fighting fires and saving lives is way more intense than the movies make it look. 

“You know a lot of people think we just respond to fires and it is so much more than that.”

Kenneth Perkins, Fort Walton Beach Fire Chief

The FWBFD hosted a media day for community leaders to see first-hand what they do for Okaloosa County residents. 

‘’The training it takes to do those things and some of the tools it takes to accomplish those tasks,” Perkins said.

Pulling fire hoses, doing search and rescue, and using the jaws of life gets even harder wearing all of the heavy gear.

“It just no your weight your carrying but about 60 extra pounds of gear. Protective equipment boots gloves coats pants helmets, it’s very cumbersome,” Perkins said.

The department hopes this hands-on experience will help them get community support and, hopefully in the future, better equipment and facilities.

‘I think it is very important when I step up to the podium a ta city council meeting and ask for $50,000 for two cardiac monitors that they understand the importance of that equipment. They have put their hand on it and see how important it is in a cardiac arrest,” Perkins said.