Florence County develops plan to help fire districts

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Florence County's newly appointed Fire and Rescue Coordinator plans to fix some of problems the county's fire districts are facing. That plan calls for the creation of two new committees that will try to meet the needs of the departments while staying within a more than $4 million budget.

"We then spent time riding their districts looking at target hazards where the big fire problems are," said Sam Brockington, Florence County Fire and Rescue Coordinator.

This ride along is something Sam Brockington said he did with each one of the seven fire chiefs in Florence County.

"There are a number of industries and target hazards that we need to be concerned about," said Brockington

Brockington said target hazard are considered buildings or structures that have a high chance of catching fire.

"I wanted to see what needs to be protected beyond the normal residents. And measure that against available equipment and manpower that's available to that problem."

Brockington noticed three things about the districts. Number ones,the seven Fire Chiefs' are devoted to the areas they serve. Two, the seven fire districts do a lot more than what they are equipped to handle.

"And number three they need additional support there are hazards and problems that need to be addressed," said Brockington.

Among those problems are a lack of man power, and a need for more training and funding. And to solve this problem Brockington brought this suggestion before county council.

"Create two advisory committees. One on operations made up of the seven fire chiefs and one on financing to decide budgeting," said Brockington

County Council supported that plan and is working on an ordinance to make those committees happen.If that ordinance passes all of the fire districts will operate out of one budget. And uniformed response and operating procedures will be implemented as a county.

"It's to take care of our firefighters. They're our biggest asset. The volunteer firefighter needs to be equipped and cared for and trained," said Brockington.

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