HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – An email between two high-ranking Horry County leaders shows how they plan to address issues that have been raised within Horry County Fire Rescue.
WMBF News obtained an email from Interim Assistant County Administrator for Public Safety Randy Webster to Horry County Administrator Steve Gosnell. It outlines how leaders are moving forward after concerns were came up during a Horry County Council meeting in July.
Councilman Danny Hardee addressed Horry County Fire Rescue Chief Joseph Tanner and Deputy Chief Jim Walker about the department’s retention rates.
Hardee said he had visited fire stations and said that hundreds of people have quit within the past two years. Hardee also said that some personnel were afraid to speak out about issues.
In the email to Gosnell, Webster said he will be making regular rounds to visit fire/EMS stations in the county.
“My desire is to talk with both the paid and volunteer staff in their environment and see first-hand how things are going. The Chief is very supportive of this task,” Webster wrote in the email.
He also stated that he has asked Hardee to have firefighters and rescue personnel contact him with any concerns.
“I have asked Mr. Hardee to please ask any Fire/Rescue members or other concerned constituents that contact him with questions or comments about any issues surrounding the Fire/Rescue Department to contact me as well,” Webster wrote. “Upon receipt of any questions or comments, I will review them and take whatever action I deem necessary.”
Webster also said that he has told Tanner to meet with field staff as he sees fit.
Tanner also provided Webster with a guideline for “Operation Improvement Meetings.” Those meetings will include the fire chief, a firefighter/EMT, firefighter/paramedic and one company officer from each battalion and they will focus on issues and where improvements can be made.
Webster said he is confident that the time it will take to address the issues will be time well spent.