Department Name: Horry County Fire Rescue EMS
Type Department: Combination – Fire Rescue EMS
Structure: Combination career-volunteer
Number of Stations: 40
Number of Apparatus: Pumpers: 40; Aerials: 5; Specialty: 20 ambulances; 2 heavy rescues; 1 fire boat; 3 rescue boats; 2 air/rehab units; 10 tenders; 10 brush trucks
Do you provide EMS: Yes – ALS
Specialty Operations: Hazardous materials, high angle rescue, confined space rescue, trench rescue, water rescue, dive rescue and wildland fire.
Annual Budget: $42,137,000.00
Area Covered (Square miles): 1,252
Total Runs: 62,043 Fire: 10,061 EMS: 51,982
Chief: Joseph Tanner
Chief Officers: James Walker, Deputy Chief; Douglas Cline, Assistant Chief; Thomas Loeper, Assistant Chief
Other Officers: 2 volunteer assistant chiefs; 5 volunteer district chiefs; 15 battalion chiefs; 31 captains and 54 lieutenants
Number of Members: 393 (363 paid)
Address: 2560 North Main St.
Conway, SC 29526
Community Outreach: Horry County Fire Rescue engages in several avenues of community outreach that includes, but is not limited to, frequent smoke alarm installation blitzes as part of our fire safety reduction program. We attend many events throughout Horry County, promoting public education campaigns related to general public safety, fire fighting and EMS. Each of our fire stations staffed 24 hours a day also serve as Safe Places where any youth who feels unsafe can be dropped off. Our Community Risk Reduction process allows us to identify and prioritize local risks followed by the integrated and strategic investment of resources to reduce the occurrence and impact of those risks, with a specific focus on EMS utilizing cutting edge services.
Top Two Concerns in your Community: We strive to make sure residences throughout our county are equipped with properly-installed smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in an ongoing effort to increase fire safety. Covering a 1,252-square-mile county presents a geographic challenge, so we have implemented new deployment models to provide better response, care and service to our region. Using this new model has increased paramedic available by 80 percent in those deployment change areas.
What upgrades will you make in your department this year? We will continue to integrate new equipment as part of our apparatus replacement plan as well as complete the upgrade of Station No. 24, located in Aynor.
What special hazards or unique businesses in your community? We’re a tourist community, with approximately 18 million visitors each year. This often presents logistical challenges surrounding large events and we’ve developed proper plans and protocols to handle these events as they come up. Also, being a coastal community, we face the potential for natural disaster, with the most frequent weather challenges coming from flooding and hurricanes. For these events, too, we work with our area, regional and state organizations to prepare for the impact of future events.
What problems in your department that you would like feedback from others? We always seek to use our personnel and equipment to decrease response time to emergency calls across our 1,252-square-mile county.
Are you doing anything special in recruitment, retention or anything unique other departments could benefit from? We’re proud of our massive, county-wide recruitment efforts that have recently narrowed to individual communities to bring in new volunteer first-responders. We’ve also started to attend new job fairs and other community events for recruitment, where we haven’t been in the past. In rolling out our Advanced EMT classes, we’ve seen many of our EMTs increase the level of care and service they can provide the people of Horry County on emergency calls. This program will continue to see new graduates as time goes on. Our new deployment models have allowed us to be 80 percent more available for paramedic care across the new deployment areas we cover.