Friday, August 14, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I call for services of Horry County Fire Rescue if I need them?
    Simply call "911" and give your location and/or address to the call taker to whom you are talking. Never panic and try to stay as calm as possible. Be prepared to give as much information as you can about the nature of the emergency you are calling about.
  • What should I do when a fire truck or ambulance approaches me while I am driving?
    If any emergency vehicle approaches you with emergency lights and sirens on,  pull to the the right, if safe to do so,  and come to a stop.  Emergency vehicles are trying to get to a scene as quickly as possible, while driving in a safe manner.  Also, when approaching a stopped emergency vehicle, slow down and, if safe to do so, move to a lane of travel not adjacent to the stopped vehicle. Firefighters may be in the roadway helping others.
  • Why does a fire truck and a rescue squad show up with the ambulance when I call for a medical reason?
    HCFR sends the nearest ambulance and rescue squad to every EMS incident.  Fire apparatus may be dispatched as a first responder, if the information gathered by the call-taker meets a specific incident type criteria.
  • How come I see fire trucks with lights and sirens go through a red light and then after they go through, they turn of their lights and slow down?
    Several units are sometimes dispatched to the same incident.  The first unit arriving on scene, surveys the situation and sometimes makes the determination that it is under control, or  they can handle with the apparatus already on scene.  All other responding units are then cancelled and placed in service.

    When you see emergency vehicles driving "emergent," with lights and sirens and then slow down and turn emergency lights off, they have been cancelled from the call they were going to.
  • Why do so many fire apparatus respond to simple incidents?
    There may be multiple fire department vehicles on scene of which seems to be a “simple” incident.  However, in emergency services we have learned that if we assume something is “simple,” we can be horribly mistaken.  We respond as quickly as we can, prepared to encounter the worst.

    We have a standard response plan on all incidents.  This system is a pre-designated formula that determines the amount and type of equipment sent to an incident.  For example a residential structure fire near the beach area is going to send a different response than one in rural Horry County.  In the rural areas, we send tankers, along with the engines, for water shuttle, due to the lack of fire hydrants, whereas in the more populated area, we may send rescues and/or ladder trucks, due to the type of structure it is responding to.

    Commercial/multi-family structures also call for a higher response than you would see for a single-family residential structure, due to the size of the structures and potential for high occupancy.
  • What is the difference between Horry County Fire Rescue and the volunteer rescue squads?
    Horry County Fire Rescue is a staffed tax funded service, strategically located throughout the county, capable of responding with advanced life support personnel and equipment to any emergency for the purpose of treating and transporting the sick and injured to the nearest hospital as well as providing fire protection to the citizens and visitors of Horry County. Rescue Squads are community based volunteers who compliment Horry County Fire Rescue's efforts in providing emergency care. They vary in the level of service which they provide. The members of these squads usually work full time jobs elsewhere, and respond according to their availability. Therefore, they may not be available nor are they charged with the responsibility of providing 24-hour service seven days per week.
  • Why do I have to dial 9-1-1?  If I call the fire station would it save time?
    The 9-1-1 emergency system is designed to save valuable seconds, thus protecting property and saving lives.  When you dial 9-1-1, dispatch send out all appropriate apparatus needed to you, to your emergency.  In some cases, it is not only the fire station closest to your home, but those also in surrounding stations.
  • Does Horry County Fire Rescue charge for their services?
    It all depends on what services are rendered. There is usually no charge for fire suppression activities though chemical spills and other hazardous cleanups can result in charges in special situations. Horry County Fire Rescue is funded by tax revenue; however, it is not enough to cover the entire cost of maintaining the service. Therefore, to offset the cost, Horry County charges a fee to customers utilizing medical services requiring transportation via ambulance.
  • How many incidents does the department respond to annually?
    The Horry County Fire Rescue Department currently responds to more than 40.000 emergencies (combined medical and fire) incidents annually. For month-by-month statistics per year click here.
  • How can I protect my home from a wildfire?
    To protect your home from wildfires, you must create a “safety zone” or “firebreak” by reducing the amount of dead or dying fuel (vegetation) around your home.  This does not necessarily mean all vegetation should be removed.  In fact, having fire-resistant plants and trees at your home that are properly trimmed and well-watered can serve as a firebreak.  For more information visit the South Carolina Forestry Commission
  • What is a “Red Flag Alert”
    A Red Flag Fire Alert is a wildfire danger warning issued by the South Carolina Forestry Commission.  The Red Flag cautions that wildfire danger is increasing, and that outdoor burning could become difficult to control.   A Red Flag Fire Alert does not prohibit outdoor burning as long as all other state and local regulations are followed. When a Red Flag Fire alert is in effect, Horry County Fire Rescue will fly red flags from the station flagpoles and will issue a burning ban for all unincorporated communities in Horry County whenever the state issues a red flag alert..
  • For regulation information on outdoor burning from SCFC click here and from DHEC here.
  • After fire damage to my property, how do I obtain a fire report?
    You can obtain a fire report at no charge from our Administration Office, located in the M.L. Brown Public Safety Building, 2560 North Main Street, Conway, SC  29526. For questions, please contact 843.915.5190
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