Horry County Fire Rescue hopes new recruits bring mandatory over - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Horry County Fire Rescue hopes new recruits bring mandatory overtime relief

Source: HCFR Source: HCFR

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Fire Rescue is preparing to hire 30 recruits to add to its ranks.  

Out of over 200 applicants, HCFR officials said 69 went through physical training Wednesday. Hopes are to interview the finalists through the next week.

For firefighters, new recruits aren't just more help inside the department; they're mandatory overtime relief.

Mandatory overtime is a department policy that was put in place in January 2015, HCFR spokesman Capt. Mark Nugent said. Since then, it's never stopped. However, it's not used unless there's a need to fill a shift vacancy.  

The policy is there to ensure all fire stations are staffed enough to function and adequately respond to emergencies. Firefighters are first asked to work the shortage on a volunteer basis, but if not all empty shifts are filled, mandatory overtime is required.

"If nobody answers their text, we go to that mandatory list and it's a rotating list," Nugent said. 

The minimal staffing level for HCFR is 88 people spread throughout all county fire stations. The county fire department operates between an A, B and C shift rotation, meaning at least 88 people must work each of those shifts, according to Nugent. A volunteer or mandated overtime worker will fill the empty slot at whatever station needs it.

The hope is 30 new recruits will stick with HCFR once hired and make a career as a county firefighter/EMT.

In addition to those recruits, another class of nine is expected to graduate at the end of August. Those soon-to-be-grads, Nugent said, already had partial training.

"Having more people to fill some of those spots should lessen that burden with having regular overtime and mandatory overtime," Nugent said.

Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue Lt. Jonathan Evans, like Nugent, said mandatory overtime is required most often when employees take vacation or are sick. However, unlike HCFR, MBFR mandates based on seniority.  

Midway Fire Rescue Chief Doug Eggiman agreed that mandatory overtime can be frustrating, but shutting down a truck for lack of staffing isn't an option.  

The Murrells Inlet fire chief said his department does not have or use a mandatory overtime policy.  

HCFR isn't the only department currently in the hiring process. According to Evans, MBFR received about 500 applicants. Of that number, 10 to 15 will be hired.

But in Horry County, firefighters said it's wearing them out when they can't prepare for the toll of working an extra shift. They said the mandated shift rotation is every nine shifts, and the policy's demand is part of the reason HCFR currently has 30 vacancies to fill.  

In response, Nugent said each firefighter is aware ahead of time when his or her mandated shift is coming. One firefighter said a mandated shift usually occurs about once a month.

Nugent said no HCFR employee can work more than 96 hours of overtime in a 28-day cycle, noting it's a department policy. 

He added that the entire department is working to make mandatory overtime a policy rarely acted on. Until then, the incoming class of recruits is being anxiously awaited.

When asked how many days in 2017 HCFR employees have been mandated to work, Nugent said he didn't immediately have that number.

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Skimmers found on two gas pumps in Horry County's south end

    Skimmers found on two gas pumps in Horry County's south end

    Friday, December 15 2017 2:07 PM EST2017-12-15 19:07:16 GMT
    Source: WMBF NewsSource: WMBF News

    Officers with Horry County Police found two credit card skimmers on gas pumps in the south end of the county, according a Facebook post from the department.

    More >>

    Officers with Horry County Police found two credit card skimmers on gas pumps in the south end of the county, according a Facebook post from the department.

    More >>
  • Person finds over one pound of marijuana in mail addressed to wrong name, report says

    Person finds over one pound of marijuana in mail addressed to wrong name, report says

    Friday, December 15 2017 1:52 PM EST2017-12-15 18:52:22 GMT
    File image. (Source: AP Graphics)File image. (Source: AP Graphics)

    A person received a package containing over one pound of marijuana Wednesday morning, according to Myrtle Beach Police online records. Officers responded to an office on Cedar Street just before 11 a.m. The woman who reported the incident told police a tenant opened the package and then realized it had the wrong name on it, records show. The woman also stated the package was brought to her unsealed.

    More >>

    A person received a package containing over one pound of marijuana Wednesday morning, according to Myrtle Beach Police online records. Officers responded to an office on Cedar Street just before 11 a.m. The woman who reported the incident told police a tenant opened the package and then realized it had the wrong name on it, records show. The woman also stated the package was brought to her unsealed.

    More >>
  • Breaking

    New call center closes down weeks after opening in Myrtle Beach

    New call center closes down weeks after opening in Myrtle Beach

    Friday, December 15 2017 1:36 PM EST2017-12-15 18:36:05 GMT
    Employees outside the Greenwood Hall offices in Myrtle Beach (Source: Jon Dick)Employees outside the Greenwood Hall offices in Myrtle Beach (Source: Jon Dick)

    A call center that promised to bring over 300 jobs to the Myrtle Beach area has closed down, just weeks after opening at the HGTC campus at the Market Common.

    More >>

    A call center that promised to bring over 300 jobs to the Myrtle Beach area has closed down, just weeks after opening at the HGTC campus at the Market Common.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly