Horry County Fire Rescue designs new engines - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Horry County Fire Rescue designs new engines

CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Fire Rescue is shopping around for some new equipment that could make it easier on emergency crews to respond when you need them.

Now that the new millage rate is in effect, HCFR is working hard to make it benefit you. They are meeting with manufacturers to custom design new fire trucks. The department is still hashing out the details, but they'll be able to design the new trucks from top to bottom.

This will be a big improvement for some of the current trucks that are more than two decades old. Part of the plan is to have trucks that will be tailored to what area of the county they'll be in, so they're ready to handle different situations. For example, ones in rural areas will need bigger water tanks, while the ones in more populated areas will need high-rise ladders.

The overall goal is to upgrade the equipment and make these new trucks as easy as possible to handle in an emergency. One improvement would be making the water hose easier to unload, since the job normally takes 5 firefighters, but could only take two. This is a big decision, because fire trucks don't come cheap: about $400,000 for one, and a ladder truck costs nearly $1 million.

Those involved with the process say they want to take their time on this investment.

"It determines how the department and the equipment we'll use for the next 20 or 30 years," said Horry County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Melissa Bellflowers. "So it's very important that it's done properly and as comprehensive as possible."

The trucks are built as they are ordered, so you can expect to see these new trucks out on the roads in about a year. Horry County Fire Rescue's goal is to replace the entire fleet with new trucks over the next ten years.

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