Florence County moves to improve emergency services

Florence County, SC (WMBF) Florence County Council is in the process of reconstructing emergency services to better serve the county.

Florence County Chairman James Schofield says some of the fire districts are ill-equipped to take on some fire calls. According to Schofield, districts that don't have industries and development to gather tax money from aren't able to buy the man power or equipment needed to handle some calls.

Schofield says the system that is in place now worked for its time, but now it's time for an update.

Florence County Council members are debating an idea that would condense all of the county's fire districts into one body. If this idea was to pass, council would hire a fire director that would oversee this agency.

Schofield says that district fire chiefs are a little hesitant to this idea because the chiefs want to still have input over their districts. Schofield says the fire chiefs would still have a voice in their districts.

"We are trying to hire someone to work with them over the next month, year and try to figure out how we can deal with these problems, "said Schofield.

Schofield said one district took 30 minutes to respond to a fire. Schofield doesn't place blame on that district, but the lack of resources. In the end he says this move is to help the tax payers.

"Council has the ultimate responsibility here. When a fire happens and something doesn't happen or there is a liability, or there is a lawsuit tax payers in Florence County are at risk"

Schofield said there will be a series of meeting to nail down a plan that will work for everyone.

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