SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The Surfside Beach Fire Department is on track to improve its communication with dispatchers to be able to respond to calls more quickly and know what to expect upon arrival.Horry County is creating a new paging system and recently required the Surfside Beach Fire Department to upgrade its current pagers to new, digital pagers. With help from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, the Surfside Beach Fire Department received a grant for about $8,000 to purchase the equipment. “We’ve got these men and women who have dedicated their lives to protect ours and we want to be sure they have the best tools to make that happen,” said Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Director Robin Peters. With the new pagers, firefighters will be able to read on a screen what type of call they are responding to. Previously, they were only able to listen to the type of call, so if they didn’t hear information like an address, they would be slowed down by asking dispatch to repeat it. “We no longer have to be able to hear the pager; all we have to do is read it and we can tell what type of a call it is,” said Surfside Beach Fire Chief Kevin Otte. “It helps us to realize what type of equipment we will need to respond and how many personnel we may need to respond as well.” The department will have 45 new pagers, and Chief Otte said they are expecting to begin using them within the next two months.
Surfside Beach Fire strengthens communication with digital pagers
by: Staci Inez