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Answering the call: Helping others

by | September 21, 2018 5:00 am

Last Updated: September 18, 2018 at 3:57 pm

With Colleton County secure from the effects of Hurricane Florence, Colleton County Fire-Rescue and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office are answering the call for assistance in other parts of the state.
The morning of Sept. 17, a Colleton County Fire-Rescue ambulance was dispatched to work in the Horry County area.
Fire-Rescue Chief Barry McRoy said the call went out for 10 ambulances to work in the Pee Dee area. Colleton and nine other emergency medical services sent ambulances.
The county was also asked about the possibility of providing a search and rescue crew. McRoy said a Type 2 search and rescue team requires three flat-bottom boats and a crew of six. Both fire-rescue and the sheriff’s office have the water unit, but neither of them have enough boats and personnel to meet the Type 2 requirements.
So the sheriff’s office and fire-rescue teamed up to meet the watercraft and staff requirements and are waiting to be called into action.
Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief David Green explained that the sheriff’s office and fire-rescue joined forces in the past to handle local situations.
When Hurricane Harvey flooded the Houston area last year, he said, the combined water rescue team was on call to respond to the Texas disaster, but the call never came.
McRoy said if requested, the local search and rescue team will be put to work traveling into flooded neighborhoods, searching for residents trapped in their homes by the rising waters and taking them to safety.
McRoy said that fire-rescue has put together a tanker task force that could be deployed to other portions of the state where the floodwaters have shut down the water distribution systems in some communities.
The tankers cannot carry drinking water — they would provide water needed to fight fires in the flooded areas.

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