Horry County Fire Chief retires while County Council considers f - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Horry County Fire Chief retires while County Council considers first responder raises in new budget

Horry County Fire Rescue Chief Fred Crosby | Horry County Government Horry County Fire Rescue Chief Fred Crosby | Horry County Government

 HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF)- Wednesday, Horry County Fire Rescue Chief Fred Crosby announced his retirement.  Although Crosby is leaving his post as fire chief, he said he still hopes first responders get what they deserve.

Crosby said he's worked with the county council up until this point, and is confident fire rescue needs won't be taken lightly. As for his replacement, there will be some expectations.

"I want it to be a good relationship, a good working relationship, a professional relationship. But, you know we've got to live within our means also, and I think we are in good shape within our fire department," Mark Lazarus, Horry County Council Chairman said. 

Thursday, Deputy Fire Rescue Chief Scott Thompson took over as interim chief.

Lazarus said he is pleased with the progress with the fire department over the last two years, and that it's important to remember the increase to the fire fund last year.

"We were having two people in a truck, when we needed three people in a truck, and those types of things," according to Lazarus. "Which provided a safety net for not only the employees, but also better response time for our citizens also."

As for the coming year's budget, the 5 percent increase for all class-one police officers won't be the only raise. "Everybody in the fire department under this budget will be getting a 3 percent raise across the board," Lazarus explained.

All other county employees will see this same 3 percent raise, and what Lazarus wants everyone to realize, they are not taking anything away from employees. 

"We are reestablishing the way we do paid time off and sick time, but no body is losing anything that they've already accumulated," Lazarus said. "What we are trying to do is cut out all of this over time that we have which is costing the citizens of Horry County a lot of money and get on a level playing ground," he added. 

On Tuesday, county council will be voting on a 7.2 millage increase, which would be $29 for every $100,000, something Lazarus said is necessary to pass, or else there could be substantial budget cuts in the future.

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