MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) -The city of Myrtle Beach could approve a 1.5 million dollar deal for the Myrtle Beach fire department.
Most of the money will be used to switch the radio system from analog to digital. The rest of the money will be used to upgrade the ambulance fleet. Lieutenant Jon Evans said all of the upgrades are to help keep our community safer.
“When you’re in a high rise like that and you can’t get out and you have fire I mean you have to be able to translate what is going on upstairs to what’s going on to the commanders downstairs so they can make the right decisions so they can say oh this building is going down we need to get out.”
Evans says sometimes in high rise buildings it’s hard to communicate on the radios they have now. This upgrade would completely change that.
“We need to be able to communicate with each other and sometimes that is difficult when you have different radios and radio systems. Everyone being uniform is going to help us greatly be able to talk to each other and no pun intended, be on the same channel.”
The radio switch has been in the works for more than a year now. Evans said the whole county should be switched over sometime by November.
“The better equipment we have the better technology we have, the safer we are and the safer the community will be.”
Other upgrades include one brand new ambulance and two ambulances the city already has will be refurbished. Evans said adding a third ambulance to the fleet is a huge game changer.
“What this would do for us is to have an extra ambulance as a backup and also to use for big events like the country music festival or anything else that comes in. We can just staff that ambulance and not have to take anything out of service. That helps keep the city safe.”
The ambulances cost $425,000. Evans said that cost will keep the ambulances where they should be; on the road and out of the shop.
“Instead of having to worry about our ambulances breaking down after years and years of service, sometimes they get beat up and sometimes we just have to upgrade and replace them and that’s what we’re doing now.”
City council will hear this ordinance for the first time Tuesday. It’ll have to go through two readings before it’s passed but Evans said there shouldn’t be any hiccups with the deal.