HAMPTON CO., SC (WTOC) - Hampton County will receive new fire trucks after it was awarded a community development grant.
The county applied for the grant last year and was denied, but this time around they're fortunate to get two of three new trucks awarded in the state.
Furman and Yemassee Fire departments were the two chosen in Hampton County. If you remember correctly, earlier this year the Yemassee Fire chief put out a big effort to recruit volunteer firefighters to get the department back up and running. This new truck is another extension of the department's mission.
"I'm ecstatic. It's great, we've been working with some older equipment."
Older equipment that dates back to the 90s.
"We have to wait for the air pressure to build up and that takes us a while to get the truck on the road and maintenance on the pump. Items wearing out, valves wearing out," said Yemassee Fire Department Chief Adam Bishop.
So the county has been working on securing money for the rural fire departments.
"They got out, did door-to-door surveys in Furman as well and got the numbers pulled together and we submitted an application through the Lowcountry Council of Governments and it was awarded," said Hampton County administrator, Rose Dobson-Elliot.
Those numbers showed that there was a need for the new trucks in Yemassee.
"You have to meet a certain income level, in other words, 51 percent or more of the affected population has to be low to moderate income," said Dobson-Elliot.
The grant will award each department $250,000 to design their new apparatus.
"I'm hoping, if the budget allows, I'll be able to get this truck set up as a rescue pumper for the interstate. So we'll have more foam, hydraulics on hand, stuff like that," said Chief Bishop.
Even though the trucks will help the departments operate more efficiently, they'll also help county residents save a little money as well.
"Generally, in the county, everyone was a 10 in the rural areas, we are now down to a seven, which has had a great impact on the rural areas and the price of their insurance," said Dobson-Elliot.
The county is hoping to have the new trucks up and running within the next six months. As far as the status of the Yemassee Fire Department, there are now have 14 volunteers.