North Myrtle Beach stays ahead of growing curve, plans to add 2 - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

North Myrtle Beach stays ahead of growing curve, plans to add 2 fire stations

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Plans are underway for two new fire stations in North Myrtle Beach.

Jay Fernandez, the Director of Public Safety in North Myrtle Beach, is looking down the road at development in his city.

“Our city is starting to grow on all levels, we want to be ahead of that curve,” said Fernandez.

For years, the City of North Myrtle Beach has owned property near Watertower Road and Highway 31 to use as a potential site for a new firehouse. The Director pointed out there are plans for new residential and commercial construction in that area.

“It is coming. We know that, it is just a matter of when. The time table is unknown,” he said.

To cut down on the unknowns, the Department of Public Safety is planning now to keep up with the development. Fernandez explained his department has been working with an architect to work out all of the details for two new fire stations. The second one could be built near the sports complex.

“The new age in North Myrtle Beach is to be proactive and be ready for anything. Whether it be financially, administratively, or preparation for a disaster, the city will be ready,” said Battalion Chief Dustin Overholser.

It could create an additional 25-30 positions for new firefighters.

“When you increase staffing it helps us respond to anywhere in the city,” explained Overholser.

He also pointed out the location by Highway 31 will help emergency responders rush to the scene to assist with Horry County Fire Rescue.

In addition, the police department could also grow its staff by adding a dozen new officers.

“The citizens in our town are used to a level of service which is pretty unique in law enforcement because we go to a lot of calls that law enforcement agencies don't go to anymore,” said Police Chief Phil Webster.

Since the area is season, some firefighters will remain dually trained as officers to keep up with that level of service.

“Different times during the year, especially during the bike weeks, we have a huge demand for police officers,” said Fernandez.

The Director pointed out these are preliminary plans and may change. He expects the building to cost around $3 million.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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