HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Horry County Council faced criticism from locals Tuesday night for their handling of Hurricane Matthew.
WMBF News received messages from viewers about the dangers first responders were in during the storm and the lack of compensation they received.
Several people gave public input, including one Horry County Fire Rescue employee. She spoke about the physical and mental toll the job had on firefighters during the storm, adding that the department is grossly understaffed.
Council members agreed that some policies need to be reviewed, but also asked those in the community to remain patient in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
By meeting's end, the council approved an ordinance to provide supplemental pay to county employees who worked during Hurricane Matthew.
According to the ordinance, pay will be provided to staff in a manner similar to the procedure for providing holiday pay.
"Essential and non-essential employees who worked the event on the days county government was closed will be paid an amount equal to their scheduled hours for the day they worked, consistent with the holiday pay policy," the ordinance stated.
The amount of supplemental paid per day worked, according to the ordinance, would be as follows:
- Regular 40 hours per week (includes emergency 911 employees) – 8 hours
- Police and detention center employees – 8.55 hours
- Standard fire/rescue employees – 10.6 hours
- Alternate fire/rescue employees – 9.6 hours
The supplemental pay will total an estimated $1.05 million, the ordinance stated.
Those funds will come out of the county's general budget, but the council will eventually seek federal reimbursement.