LONGS, S.C. (WBTW) — A new fire station is up and running in Horry County as officials continue efforts to keep up with population growth along the Grand Strand.

According to Horry County Fire Rescue, crews at the new Station 13 in Longs officially began handling calls Saturday from the new location on Highway 9, next to the old Station 13.

“Crews raised the flag, loaded up their gear and are already responding to calls as they’re dispatched from Horry County 911,” HCFR said Saturday afternoon in a Facebook post. “And, if we do say so ourselves, the new facility, medic unit, crews and 🇺🇸 are looking quite sharp! 👌

HCFR is also working on a replacement for Station 4 in the Forestbrook area, renovations to the Socastee station and plans to merge its Nixonville and Wampee stations.

HCFR set a state record in April when 58 new firefighters graduated from the agency’s training academy, the largest class ever.

Video courtesy Horry County Fire Rescue

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HCFR is coming off a record year for calls.

The agency handled 74,857 calls in 2021, up from 63,620 calls in 2020, which was also a record year. As of May 16, HCFR reported more than 27,000 dispatched calls for 2022.