Grants for emergency responders to help with equipment, personnel

Grants for emergency responders to help with equipment, personnel
Graph showing what types of calls MBFR responded to in November 2014.
Graph showing what types of calls MBFR responded to in November 2014.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – More than $400,000 in grant money will assist local emergency responders and management.

Throughout the month of November, Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue responded to hundreds of rescue calls, dozens of fires, and hazardous conditions.

During Tuesday's Myrtle Beach City Council workshop, members discussed accepting a grant on behalf of the fire department. A total of $90,181.75 is granted from the SC Law Enforcement Division and Office of Homeland Security. Of that, $39,631.75 will help the fire department to purchase equipment to aid the Pee Dee Regional WMD/HazMat Team. A total of $50,550 will go towards aiding the Pee Dee Regional Collapse Search and Rescue Teams.

In addition, the city council discussed a grant for the Myrtle Beach Police Department. The amount of $275,000 will ‘help defray the increased costs with law enforcement efforts and to help the local department work towards the statewide goal of protecting citizens within the community.'

During the workshop, the city manager said the money will most likely help with the Memorial Day events. It could be for equipment acquisition or possibly to fix surveillance cameras. The city plans to release specific details for the money once it is decided.

In the meantime, the police department will look over budgetary, equipment, and personnel needs.

“We evaluate the needs that we have, earmark the money for things such as personnel, bulletproof vests, things such as that to better serve the citizens,” explained Lt. Crosby with the Myrtle Beach Police Department.

While the police department determines the use for the money, it is also planning now for the Memorial Day Weekend patrols.

“We've created the Strategic Planning Division which consists of Captain Amy Prock and myself. Our primary function will be to make a Memorial Day plan, reaching out to various resources so we can have resources for that weekend and try to put together an operational plan as best as we can,” said Lt. Crosby.

The operational plan will be for local and state agencies responding to the event.

“Once we can get everything together and have a complete operation plan, then we will be transparent and share that just as we have been with the traffic loop,” explained Lt. Crosby.

While preparing for the large scale event, Lt. Crosby pointed out the operational plan will help the department get ready for other events in the area.

“Events such as the marathon and a lot of those sports tourism events we have…we are getting more events throughout the year, and with each event they are getting bigger,” said the Lieutenant.

Also during Tuesday's workshop, Myrtle Beach City Council members looked at a grant from the SC Office of Adjutant General and the Emergency Management Division. The amount includes $37,500 on behalf of the City of Myrtle Beach for the State-Local Pre-Disaster Mitigation program.

The total amount of $50,000 includes a 25 percent local match.

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