Officials looking for new land for HCFR's Forestbrook station

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Leaders are in the process of looking for a new location for the Forestbrook fire station to call home after realization hit that the widening of Forestbrook Road will take over the current property the station sits on.

Horry County Council Member Johnny Vaught said officials need to find a new home for the station before construction starts because the Forestbrook area can't be left without a station. According to Vaught, the county doesn't have a date to begin putting shovels in the ground for the road widening project. They are still in the design stages for the road as of right now.

Some of the things being taken into consideration when looking for a new location for the station are response times. Vaught said they don't want to lose any coverage when it comes to how quickly first responders will be able to make it to a call.

Spokesperson for Horry County Fire Rescue Mark Nugent said they're going to be doing some in-depth research on where specifically calls are in the area and response times to help decide on a sensible location.

"It's going to be quite an undertaking and so that gives us a timing issue because we can't tear the fire station down and leave Forestbrook with no fire coverage and that would [have to] happen to build a road so we have to get the fire station going sometime soon,” said Vaught.

Horry County is also looking at funding options. Vaught said some money could potentially come from selling the land the current station sits on now.

"The county owns the land that the fire station is on and RIDE III, part of that project will be to buy right of way, so and if they take our property, RIDE III Takes our property, we would be reimbursed to some extent for that fire station," said Vaught.

However, Vaught said he's not sure that money will be enough, so council would have to look at other options to fund the project, which he said will probably be a topic of conversation at the budget retreat in March.

The Forestbrook station was the third busiest engine company in 2017, according to Nugent, running about 4 calls per day.

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