Florence County's new fire district brings changes to the count - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Florence County's new fire district brings changes to the county

New equipment will soon be housed at a fire department in Florence County New equipment will soon be housed at a fire department in Florence County
FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Florence County Fire District is seeing some major changes when it comes to life-saving equipment.

The additions will also help to lower ISO ratings.

More funding and greater unity between fire departments here in Florence County will be a benefit of the changes, officials said.

The changes come after the consolidation of six departments into one unified fire district.

“We had significant drop in our millage, and with that drop in mills, it increased our budget,” Johnsonville Fire Chief Kerry Tanner said.

Tanner said with the recent creation of the Florence County Fire district, his department is now able to move forward.

“We are able to go out and purchase the newest equipment available and upgrade some of our equipment that is getting very very old,” Tanner said.

We wanted adequate funding for the six departments so that they could meet state and national standards,” Florence County Fire and Rescue Coordinator, Sam Brockington said.

Currently, most homeowners and property owners in Florence County are paying 40 mills for fire protection.

Brockington says this change in mills along with funding from the second capital sales project has allowed for some dramatic positive changes in fire service throughout the county.

Due to the lack of funding, before the creation of the Florence County unified fire district - some departments like Sardis Timmonsville, could not have staff on duty during some hours of the day.

Some departments could not afford the upkeep on equipment that thousands of people's lives depend on during an emergency.

We can maintain the equipment, we can better answer the call. We now have career staff on duty at all six stations in the daytime throughout the county,” Brockington said.

Something you will soon notice is the construction of multiple new fire stations going up in the county.

“Eight new fire stations constructed, two remodels, and probably 10 new fire trucks when we get the building projects out the way,” Brockington said.


Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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