SOCASTEE, SC (WBTW)- Almost half of Horry County’s brand new fire trucks are out of service. The county spent $8 million on 13 custom built trucks.
Horry County Fire Rescue Fleet Maintenance spent Tuesday afternoon working on Ladder 1. The truck is only a month old, but remains out of service.
“Whether it’s brand new equipment or older equipment, any man made equipment you’re going to have problems with,” said HCFR Division Chief Ernest Gerrald.
According to Gerrald, two engines, two ladders and one tanker are out of commission.
“As of this time we have not experienced any major problems but again we don’t want to put any truck out there in service that would endanger our personnel,” he said.
All of the trucks are custom built by a company called KME and under warranty. Gerrald says his primary concern is how quickly a truck can be repaired.
“Any manufacturer is going to have problems but if it’s been here for two weeks and out of service for a month than that truck doesn’t do us any good it doesn’t matter who the manufacturer is,” explained Gerrald.
He plans to meet with KME technicians again after the holidays. In the meantime, he says all of the stations are using spare trucks.
“We have not had to close any station due to a piece of equipment being down, we’ve always had something to fill in for it,” stated Gerrald.
Still, he’s anxious to get the trucks working again.
” As a taxpayer, you want to make sure that if you spent the money on this new equipment, you want it in service.”
Horry County isn’t the only department to have issues with trucks from KME. Augusta Fire Department in Georgia considered breaking its contract after several of it’s trucks required repairs.