Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and now Walton Counties all have lifeguards at their public beaches.
Some say Bay County is making itself vulnerable to drowings and vulnerable to lost tourism, but the Tourist Development Council thinks Bay County beaches are safe as they area.
As of now, Bay County has a beach and surf patrol. It's more like an information service than a lifeguard service, and TDC officials say unless residents are willing to pay higher taxes, the lifeguard trend won't be tried out here in Bay County.
TDC officials estimate it would cost more than $3 million a year to put lifeguards on Bay County beaches.