Blaze breaks out on school bus in Whiteville
VIDEO: A Columbus County school bus caught on fire Wednesday afternoon on Chadbourn Highway near the Walgreens drug store. Hal Lowder with emergency management says the bus was headed to get maintenance on it when it started smoking. Lowder says there were no students on the bus at the time, and the driver was able to get out safely. The fire reportedly started near the engine compartment and quickly spread to the passenger area. Video shared with WWAY shows thick, black smoke and flames spewing from the bus. Whiteville firefighters arrived just before 5 p.m. and extinguished the fire. The bus was a total loss.
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Carolina Beach firefighters, lifeguards respond to multiple rip current rescues along area beaches
Ocean rescue crews have been busy the last few days as multiple rip current rescues have been reported along New Hanover County beaches. WWAY captured a water rescue live as it happened near the Atlantic Towers in Carolina Beach Wednesday afternoon. Carolina Beach Fire Department tells us a woman was caught in a rip current while boogie-boarding. Several bystanders tried to rescue her before firefighters arrived and put a jet ski in the water. Those bystanders were pulled out of the water unharmed as was the victim caught in the current. Fire officials say rip currents are even more dangerous now before lifeguards take to the stands along area beaches. They say good Samaritans sometimes only add to the danger. "If you're on the beach and you see someone panicking definitely call 911 immediately," Fire Chief Alan Griffin said. "If they are caught in a rip, the best thing to do is to try and coach them out of it. If you try and enter that water you're going to be in the same rip they're in. And even our guards that are seasoned swimmers tend to struggle to swim inside of a rip."
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Gaston Volunteer Fire Department to hold Fire Kids Camp
PHOTOS: The Gaston Volunteer Fire Department will hold its fourth annual Gaston Fire Kids Camp from Monday, June 17, though Friday, June 22, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. for local children between the ages of 10 and 14. The six-day camp is a fun way to learn about the job of a firefighter. During their time at the camp, some of the activities the campers get to experience will include CPR, helicopter operations, hose advances, rope rescues, boat operations, water rescues, ladder climbing, first aid, air pack training, rat maze, live fire extinguishing, rappelling, forestry operations, smoke searches, wilderness search and rescue. "During Kids Fire Camp, we are able to spend time with the youth and watch them grow throughout the week.
LAKE GASTON GAZETTE-OBSERVER
Grant money provides Berkeley County first responders new life-saving equipment
In order to increase lifesaving capabilities and improve public safety across the state's Southern region, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation awarded more than $88,000 in equipment grants this month to five area fire departments. A special ceremony took place Tuesday at Berkeley County Emergency Services Training Center. The grant money was used to purchase various necessary resources for each department and was also doled out to honor the memory of Gerald "Kenny" Morris, of Macedonia. Morris, a former volunteer with Berkeley County Rescue Squad, died in a crash last fall, according to a press release. His daughter Emily Thomas, who serves as an employee of the Moncks Corner Firehouse Subs location, also attended the event to support her late father and raise funds. Thomas was joined by family members, along with her Firehouse co-workers and General Manager Jeff Gould.
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Woman flown to hospital after 2-vehicle crash in Beaufort area
A woman suffered critical injuries and was flown from the scene of a two-vehicle crash Wednesday evening in Beaufort, according to the Burton Fire District. The crash happened around 7 p.m. on Robert Smalls Parkway and W.K. Allston Drive and involved a minivan and a work truck that suffered heavy damage, according to a fire district news release. It took fire crews over 40 minutes to rescue the driver, who was "heavily entrapped" in the minivan. A tow truck had to separate the vehicles so firefighters could remove the roof of the vehicle, peel back the dashboard and rescue the woman, the release said. She was then flown from the scene. Four other occupants of the minivan, including a 3-year-old child, were treated at the scene and then transported to a hospital. Their injuries were unknown on Thursday morning.
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Lawsuit: Former Horry County firefighter let go after running in county-sponsored 5K race
A former Horry County Fire Rescue lieutenant has filed a lawsuit against the department, claiming he was fired shortly after competing in a county-sponsored 5K in 2018. According to the lawsuit filed May 6, Russell Brent Norman is requesting a jury trial and the awarding of an undisclosed amount of damages. Norman, who started with the department in 2005 before being promoted to a lieutenant in February 2018, suffered an on-the-job injury on April 6 of last year and submitted worker's compensation paperwork the next day, the lawsuit states. That request was denied. He was placed on light duty restrictions on April 10. Three days later, he was released to light work duty but was restricted from running, according to court documents. At an April 23 appointment, Norman received new restrictions after being diagnosed with a torn ACL and lateral and medical meniscus tears.
Officials celebrate groundbreaking for new Fort Mill fire station
A large group of local, state and national officials with golden shovels in hand helped celebrate the groundbreaking of Fort Mill's second fire station on Monday, May 6. The $4 million fire station will be built on land at 1245 Fort Mill Parkway, across from Catawba Ridge High School. The station will replace the town's temporary station next to Doby Bridge Park. The assembled crowd included Fort Mill Mayor Guynn Savage, all members of Fort Mill Town Council, Town Manager David Broom, Fort Mill Fire Department Chief Chipper Wilkerson, S.C. Rep. Raye Felder, and U.S. Congressman Ralph Norman. Mayor Savage said the new station will boost the town's emergency response coverage once completed. "The new fire department will allow better insurance rates in this end of town where we're continuing to see growth. It will allow greater response times that we all expect, it will allow training opportunities, and allow a police touchdown station," Savage said. Savage highlighted the importance of building a new station to help first responders with the equipment, space and training they need to succeed.
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Horry County Fire Rescue rolls out new tool to get drivers to slow down, move over
VIDEO: Horry County Fire Rescue has a new tool to safely control traffic around the scene of an emergency. When firefighters suit up, and head out they're often headed into harm's way. When those calls place them on a road, their lives are at risk. "Directing traffic and working on incidents on the roadways is actually the most dangerous job we do. It's not even running in buildings and some of those things, it's actually being out there and exposed to traffic," said Horry County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Charlie Nash. First responders said sometimes the flashing lights aren't enough. In order to get people to move over and slow down, firefighters are rolling out new equipment, literally. "It's a portable speed bump, is basically what it is," said Nash. Within seconds, the lightweight, portable speed bump is deployed out on the road while first responders work a crash. It slows cars to a crawl to help make it safer for crews on scene.
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