DESTIN — The Fourth of July is one of the busiest days on Crab Island.

Despite that the holiday is in the middle of the week this year, boaters sporting American flag swimsuits are out in force Wednesday. And watching all the fun are the first responders ready at a moment's notice for any emergency.

"We see swimmers in distress; sometimes they get sucked into the current and we pull them out., There's boat crashes, capsized vessles, fires ... " Capt. Bob Flynn with the Destin Fire Control District said. "Hopefully we don't have any of that today."

Flynn, alongside firefighter Micah Amey and lifeguard Shane Gauthier, are working the 10-hour shift on the Fourth of July. Flynn said the department monitors the area by boat every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and major holidays throughout the summer.

Much of what they look out for is swimmers who may be caught in the current. Once the tides change, Flynn said he always expects several rescues.

"There was one year we had seven rescued people on this boat at one time," he said. "About 90 percent of our rescues are at the tide line."

That's why Destin Fire Control is out there alongside the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Flynn calls Fourth of July the "Superbowl" for first responders.

"This is the busiest I've seen Crab Island all year," he said. "It's what we train for."

The busier the island is, the more challenging it can be to respond to emergencies. When a call comes in for a distressed swimmer about 2 p.m., Flynn has to turn on the boat siren to try to clear a path through the island. A Destin Fire Control District lifeguard also circles the area on a personal watercraft.

After driving around the island, the firefighters are flagged down by people who say they saw the man walking around saying he was lost. On a busy day like Fourth of July, looking for one swimmer is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Not too long after the call for the swimmer, a call comes in about someone who has a hook and a catfish barb stuck in a hand. Nobody flinches. It's just another day on the island.

Some of the common mistakes first responders see are people trying to swim to Crab Island from the shore — "You're never going to make it," Flynn said. And then there's one call you hope you don't have to answer.

"Getting cut with a prop (propeller) is one of my worst fears," Flynn admits. "We have a tourniquet for just that instance. ... We have everything an ambulance has."

Of course not every minute is exciting, and firefighters learn to make the most of their holiday. Amey said he likes to send photos of the water to his friends up north. If they get a moment, they might grab lunch at Dewey Destin's.

"However, the minute you sit down to eat is when you get a call," Flynn said with a laugh.

As the fireworks go off over the Destin Harbor later tonight, they'll still be on the water. At least it's a better view than the fire station.

"It's not Disney World out here, people can get hurt," Flynn said. "But that's why we're out here."