Horry County Fire Rescue plans to improve safety

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Fire Rescue officials are planning out how they will improve the fire department for the next several years. This way, area residents will be able to see what they plan to do with your tax dollars.

It still may be a year or so before taxpayers notice any changes, since the money from the new millage rate still has to come in. But the fire department is already figuring out how it wants to spend the extra money. More than 100 people with Horry County Fire Rescue came together to map out the action plan.

Some of the big focuses are on increasing staff by expanding the volunteer program, cross-training ambulance crews to help handle fires, and buying brand new fire trucks, which should be the first noticeable change. But there are also big long-term goals, like cutting EMS response time down to less than 8 minutes by the year 2017.

Taxpayers who talked to WMBF News say this is a good direction, and they especially want a focus on faster response times.

"I realize it's difficult sometimes with the traffic," said Valerie Copeland, "especially in the summer here. But to save a life, yes I think so: the quicker the response, the more lives will be saved."

The Horry County Fire Rescue Strategic Plan will be revisited every year, and a progress report will be published, so all will know how the department is progressing. The Public Safety Committee will discuss the plan Thursday at 3 p.m. and then it will be sent on to Horry County Council.

Click here to view a PDF file of the public safety meeting agenda (Warning: Large file):

http://bit.ly/JbuWZU - the safety plan is on pages 35- 90

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