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Horry County Fire Rescue Charity Profile
Horry County Fire Rescue is a combination career and volunteer department tasked with fire protection to the unincorporated areas of Horry County and emergency medical care for the entire county. Horry County covers over 1134 square miles making it the largest county east of the Mississippi. One of the largest tourist destinations in the country, Myrtle Beach, is located within the county.
Staffing for the department consists of over 275 full time career staff and over 200 volunteers. The Department is split into two battalions that split the county practically North and South with Highway 501 as a close landmark. Currently, the department operates sixteen Advanced Life Support ambulances (24 hours a day) from throughout the county. The department also staffs crews on a 24/48 schedule between eleven fire stations. The county operates thirty-eight stations between the career and volunteer staff.
The Headquarters is located in the county seat of Conway within the M.L. Brown Public Safety Complex. This building houses the Public Safety Director, the Emergency Management Division, the Coroner's Officer, and the Horry County Police Department.
Horry County operates a stand alone Emergency 911 system located in the City of Conway. Staff of E911 answers all emergency calls for the entire county. However, some municipalities dispatch their own units. These calls are transferred by the County E911 Center.
Rank structure for Horry County Fire Rescue is as follows:
The Fire Rescue Chief is hired by the Public Safety Director and approved by the County Administrator and the County Council. The Chief is located in the Headquarters at the M.L. Brown Public Safety Complex. The Chief's primary responsibilities are the overall operations of the department.
The Department has one Deputy Chief and two Assistant Chiefs. The Deputy Chief is in charge of overall operations in the absence of the Chief. The Assistant Chiefs are in charge of Operations and Support Services. The Deputy Chief and Assistant Chiefs are located in the Headquarters.
A Division Chief is in charge of a particular section within the Department. These include Communications, Volunteer Services, Materials Management, Fire Training, Medical Training and Maintenance. The Division Chief is the same level as a Battalion Chief. However, the Battalion Chiefs are within the Operations Bureau. Nine Battalion Chiefs operate the three shifts with one in each of the three Battalions. All Division Chiefs are located within the Headquarters and the Battalion Chiefs operate out of stations within their respective Battalion.
Each career station has one Captain that is assigned on either A, B or C shift. The Captain is in charge of the administrative duties of the station they are assigned. The other shifts are covered by the station Lieutenant. Stations that operate with volunteers only are managed by a District Chief. The District Chief may be in charge of more than one station. Each volunteer station has another officer assigned that is designated as a volunteer Captain or Lieutenant that assists the District Chief with operations.
Training Officers are assigned to the Fire and Medical Training Divisions. These Officers conduct training at the Fire Academy, In-Service Training, Station Training, administering the Agility Test, teaching American Heart Association courses such as ACLS, CPR and First Aid. They also teach PALS, BTLS, GALS and many others.
The Public Education Officer manages community fire and life safety education programs which consists of school programs, car seat safety inspections, Juvenile Firesetter Intervention programs, community CPR and First Aid courses, and general safety programs. Specialty classes are available upon request.
The Fire Investigator is in charge of the Fire & Arson Investigations Bureau which handles the origin and cause of any suspicious or unknown reason for the fire. They work hand-in-hand with the Horry County Police Department in prosecuting arsonists.
The Safety & Compliance Officer makes sure that each employee complies with all protocols and department SOP's and policies. The Officer handles Workers Compensation Claims and other related duties.
The Public Information Officer is responsible for dispensing information in a timely and accurate manner to the media and the general public. The PIO maintains this website.
The Department also has three vehicle maintenance personnel, a NFIRS/GIS Coordinator, two Materials Management personnel, six administrative assistants, and four accounting clerks.
The Department has several Specialty Teams including the HazTech Team which is located within Station 23, the Marine Rescue Dive Team which is located at Station 4, the Wildfire Team that is located throughout the county, and the Public Education Team.
The following is a description of the primary apparatus within the department:
Engine: (a.k.a. "pumper")...Basic firefighting apparatus assigned to every fire station that responds to all types of rescue, fire, and medical calls. The vehicle carries a supply of 1000 gallons of water plus medical equipment, including automatic external defibrillator's. Some are equipped with Paramedics and some with extrication tools.
Tower: Larger than an engine and mounted with an aerial ladder, this vehicle carries the rescue equipment and has the primary missions of forcible entry, search and rescue, and overhaul, but also backs up engines on medical calls. A ladder consists of a bucket at the end of a 104 ft. attached ladder. A tower also has a 300 gallon tank.
Ladder: Similar to a tower without the platform bucket and reaches only 75 feet. The Ladder has a 500 gallon tank.
Ambulance: Each is equipped with a Paramedic and an EMT, most are crossed trained as firefighters. These units respond to all medical calls and structure fires. First due ambulances may fight fire if they are the primary unit. Ambulances are also responsible for rehab during a structure fire.
Heavy Rescue: Equipped with multiple rescue equipment for auto extrications, HazMat calls, Technical Rescue, and many other emergencies.
Brush Trucks: Four-wheel drive vehicles that can carry 250 gallons of water into remote areas over rough terrain. They also carry shovels and flaps.
Tanker: A vehicle that carries 2,000 gallons of water when there is inadequate water supply, especially in areas of the county where fire hydrants are scarce.
Depending upon the nature of the call, the Station Lieutenant or Captain is the Incident Commander unless the incident calls for a Battalion, Assistant or Deputy Chief.
Horry County Fire Rescue provides "mutual aid" to areas within the municipalities of Horry County. These areas include the cities of Myrtle Beach, Conway, Surfside, North Myrtle Beach and Loris. The Department can be requested by these departments within their jurisdiction. These departments also provide mutual aid to Horry County Fire Rescue. Another area of mutual aid is to departments located in counties adjacent to Horry County. These departments include Fairbluff, NC, Tabor City, NC, Calabash, NC, Mullins, SC, Murrells Inlet, SC and Nichols, SC.