MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Pee Dee Regional Incident Management Team moved its headquarters to Myrtle Beach within the last few months and officials say they hope it grows the team.
There are three regional incident management teams throughout South Carolina. The headquarters for the Pee Dee region used to be located in Florence County.
City of Myrtle Beach emergency manager and member of the team, Bruce Arnel, said this is not an operational team or a team that gets involved with tactics. Arnel said this team helps a city or county manage a situation through something like an Emergency Operations Center.
"The decision was made to bring the team to Myrtle Beach. It’s still made up of the same team members. It’s a regional team, so that has not changed. The only thing that’s changed is the Myrtle Beach Fire Department will be managing the team. We’ll be able to give it a little more attention,” said Arnel.
The team made a trip to Florida after Hurricane Michael. Arnel said while there, they were able to see what that area was going through in terms of devastation and recovery.
“Hurricane Michael - that could’ve been us,” said Arnel. “We want to help our neighbors when we can and we may be asking our neighbors to help us in the future. The experience we take away from those deployments are invaluable because we get to see first hand what happens.”
The team is made up of about 15 active members, according to Arnel.
The incident management team is a state asset, so the city doesn’t pay anything for it. It’s funded by the Department of Homeland Security, according to Arnel.
The team applied for a grant of $60,000 to cover training and equipment.
Arnel said looking ahead, they hope to grow the team and focus on training.