Crowd shows support for firefighters at council meeting amid overtime issues

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - A number of people showed up to Tuesday night's Horry County Council meeting to show support for firefighters at Horry County Fire Rescue.

One man says our firefighters are overworked. A man who used to work for the department spoke on the overtime issue at the meeting.

The people who showed up to support the firefighters wore shirts with "#FamilyFirst" on the back because Horry County Council Chair Mark Lazarus said something in a previous interview about how firefighters should treat their jobs like it's their family.

Robert Mullaney, President of Horry County Professional Firefighters, responded to Lazarus' comments at the meeting.

"I think everybody kind of understands that maybe it was taken out of context with some people, but everybody understands that your family comes first above all else," Mullaney said. "That was the point that we were trying to get across. We're all standing together and we're all one big family."

Lazarus responded: "I don't believe I ever said anything against a family unit. Let me tell you I work in my personal life - I give out over 1,000 W-2s in my businesses this year, and I can tell you family comes first. But at the same time, they have a professional job to do."

Horry County Fire Rescue's mandatory overtime policy, announced last month, is designed to match up the department's need with the person who will work an overtime shift. Firefighters can only work 48 hours at a time.

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