Horry County Fire/Rescue is gearing up for nearly $8 million in new pumpers, ladder trucks and tankers to not only update its aging fleet but to keep insurance rates down for its residents.
The department contracted with Kovatch Mobile Equipment Corp. of Pennsylvaniaand Safe Industries of Piedmont to obtain $7.7 million in new fire trucks and equipment. The money was collected through 3.5 mills dedicated for fire safety that County Council approved in 2013. The 3.5 mills equals $14 for every$100,000 of assessed value of a person’s property in unincorporated Horry County.
Fire Chief Fred Crosby said the county’s next Insurance Services Office, or ISO, evaluation is in July, which is perfect timing for acquiring the new trucks.
“We have 11 pumpers that are over 20 years old,” Crosby said. “We’re talking about buying replacements for those and we’re talking about buying ladder trucks, which are all over 16 years old, which is a problem for meeting national standards. There are four of those.
“The others are tankers that will improve our water availability in rural areas, because that’s a big number in your ISO for that.”
In 2013, County Council approved a 3.5 millage property tax increase to fund fire rescue to the tune of $3.5 million more annually.
County Administrator Chris Eldridge said the funding comes from two years worth of collection.
Council Chairman Mark Lazarus said although it “took a little time to put this all together,” he commended the staff for getting it straight before July 2015.
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