HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Horry County Fire Rescue has been honored with a milestone achievement that could go a long way in helping crews better serve the county in the years to come.
HCFR is now part of the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association. The MCFA is part of the International Association of Fire Chiefs , a group reserved for the largest departments in the country.
While Horry County is not nearly as big as New York or Atlanta, Chief Fred Crosby said the new classification is due in part to the some 60,000 calls crews respond to every year.
Crosby said the calls surge during the summer with a spike in the population.
"That creates a call load for us and actually we run as many calls as the county that sits around Atlanta Georgia which is a hugely populated area," added Crosby. "Most of that is EMS but we do run a lot of fire calls here and I think most people would be surprised that we run over 60,000 calls a year."
Crosby says not only does this benchmark honor the department, but it could also go a long way in getting more money for upgrades in the future.
"It does help on grant applications and things like that the other way that it does help is that we are a standing committee in the National Fire Protection Association," Crosby said.
Crosby added that gives Horry County a seat at the table when it comes to making national fire department standards.
"So, it puts us in a position to have a voice in a very critical place to make sure we don't get run over by a bus and to make sure that the needs of the people of Horry County are thought of when you're talking about national standards," Crosby said.
HCFR also said now that it is part of a larger network of fire departments, crews can gain advice and training from other fire crews in larger cities to see how they handle a high volume of calls.