HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – July was the busiest month on record for Horry County Fire Rescue this year with first responders working more than 7,000 calls the entire month.
First responders said they’re seeing an average of more than 220 calls a day. They believe August will be another incredibly busy month for them.
First responders added those call numbers could go up even higher considering it’s the middle of hurricane season and coronavirus cases continue to go up on the Grand Strand. Fire rescue said they’ve responded to emergency calls of all kinds. During the height of the coronavirus pandemic last year, the department said it responded to 63,000 calls, with 87% of those calls medical-related.
It received 227 calls a day in June, a number that Tony Casey, a public information officer for Horry County Fire Rescue, called “astronomical.”
“It is the highest we have ever seen and it emphasizes how hard our people are working,” Casey said.
The department said it needs to hire 50 new first responders to make sure it can serve the growing community.
The department has positions available for firefighter/paramedic starting at $45,000 a year, according to Horry County Government jobs. Other positions available include entry level firefighter/EMT starting at $37,500 a year with an opportunity for growth within the department.
The county wants to hire people despite experience levels. With more people moving to the Grand Strand, it needs all the staff it can get so it can respond to emergencies as quickly as possible.