Horry Co. appoints new HCFR chief - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Horry Co. appoints new HCFR chief

Newly appointed HCFR Chief Fred Crosby (Reprinted with permission from the Mechanicsville Local) Newly appointed HCFR Chief Fred Crosby (Reprinted with permission from the Mechanicsville Local)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County officials have chosen Frederick Crosby to serve as chief of Horry County Fire Rescue.

WMBF News Reporter Sean Maginnis attended the Horry County Public Safety meeting Tuesday night when Public Safety Director Paul Whitten announced the field had been narrowed to one.

Crosby currently serves as Fire and EMS chief in Hanover County, VA which is a combination Fire and EMS Department covering over 512 square miles, with approximately 152 employees and over 1000 volunteers.

His application for the position shows he received a degree from the University of Richmond in Human Resource Management, and has worked for Hanover County since 1987.

Before his employment with Hanover County Fire EMS, Crosby was a Chesterfield County fireman working 56 hours a week.

"The selection committee was focused on three factors: the fire side of the department, medical as it relates to EMS and volunteerism," stated Horry County Administrator Chris Eldridge. "We are pleased with our selection, and I look forward to working with Mr. Crosby."

Crosby will report for duty on November 15.

"The timing of his employment is perfect as we will begin the budget process after the first of the year, stated Paul Whitten, Horry County Assistant County Administrator for Public Safety. "I am excited to work with him and learn his work philosophies as it relates to fire/rescue protection services we can offer the citizens of Horry County."

Crosby will have his work cut out for him when he does take over the job, some county officials say.

County Councilman Al Allen says right now the department is facing a dwindling volunteer force and aging equipment, much of which needs to be replaced within the next three years.

"I think the number one problem will probably be personnel, which will be a bridging between our full time employees and our volunteers," Allen says.

Earlier in 2012, then Fire Chief Gary Alderman requested additional tax money to pay for more firefighter positions, but budgetary constraints prevented council from taking that action, Allen says.

"With the current downturn, with our current economy, we don't have the tax base that we need to fully support a full time fire agency throughout the county," Allen says.

Allen says it will be up to Crosby to beef up Horry County's volunteer fire staff, as well as find ways to stretch out the shelf life of equipment currently in use.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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