HCFR proposes alternative to buying new fire trucks

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Fire Rescue has proposed an alternative to buying new fire trucks for service. Currently, Horry County taxpayers foot the bill for new equipment with a millage rate. HCFR is now looking to enter an agreement to lease new fire engines, or enter into a financing agreement.

The new plan is to have an RFP, or request for proposal. It's agreement with a financial institution or truck manufacturing company. They will eventually replace all the trucks in use that are more than 20 years old, and then do a buy-back program in the future so nothing will be more than 18 years old over the next 20 years.

If they stuck with the original plan and just bought a new fleet, then in 15 years, all the trucks will need replacing at the same time. With a price tag of at least $400,000 per truck, it's a costly problem to have at once. This way, it will be easier to keep all the trucks up to date and serviced.

Horry County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Scott Thompson says they really only need the basics.

"We're not prima donnas. We're firefighters. We're paramedics. We take care of the problems," said HCFR Deputy Chief Scott Thompson. "We want to build a fire truck that's going to be useful for our guys - that'll be safe for our people."

Proposals for the agreement are due May 21. The agreement will be for five years, with options to renew the contract. You should see the new trucks out on the roads by next summer.

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