PAMPLICO, SC (WBTW) – For the past two years, Florence County has put a lot of effort and money from the second penny sales tax towards improving its fire departments.
On Thursday, council voted to buy new four new fire trucks for Hannah-Salem-Friendfield.
The department now has 10 new trucks and 6 which are in service.
It’s been more than 20 years since the Hannah-Salem-Friendfield Fire Department added a new truck to the fleet.
“It’s hard to find parts for 20 year old vehicle that hasn’t been made in 30 years,” said Chief Monty Tedder.
We’ve had a truck where the brakes went out while responding to a call. That’s when it affects the citizens that you’re trying to help with their emergency. Without up to date equipment it hinders us from being able to provide the service that they require from us,” he explained.
With the help of the penny sales tax and bonds, the county has bought 28 new fire trucks for departments countywide.
“The chief at the Hannah-Salem-Friendfield never had a chance before the capital project sales tax. It will be the single largest purchase ever in the history of Florence County for fire protection,” said Sam Brockington, Florence County Fire and Rescue Coordinator.
Brockington says many of the fire trucks in the county did not meet state and national standards as far as safety.
“The thing that citizens never see, from the time they dial 911 to the time that we arrive on scene. They have no idea what goes on in between that time frame,” Tedder stated.
The goal is to keep the new trucks under 20 years old. County leaders plan to move to the next phase of equipment replacement in about five years.
“Wanting to give the assurance that their tax money is providing the best possible service they can ask for,” mentioned Tedder.