BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The Whitesville and Cross fire departments have combined into one department, forming Central Berkeley Fire and EMS, with a goal of expanding fire protection in the county.

“The leadership of both departments came together and decided that this merger could lead us to have a better level of care for the people in our districts,” said Capt. Colt Roy with Central Berkeley Fire and EMS.

Each department previously had three stations – the new combined department now consists of six stations with about 100 people between staff and volunteers.

“Some of the benefits that are going to be immediately following this, Whitesville Fire Department had a DHEC certified ALS designation.”

Now, the Cross area, as part of the new department, will have that designation as well. That means the EMTs and paramedics who are responding to your medical emergency will be able to offer more treatment options before you get to a hospital.

Central Berkeley Fire and EMS logo

“Things like cardiac monitoring, things like that that are really beneficial or paramedics they have a whole drug box they carry where is it the first responder level pretty much the only thing you’re allowed to do is give oxygen.”

This will mean a much greater level of care in numerous ways than what was previously possible.

“We’re still going to be there answering the calls, getting there really fast when there is a call, and what it does mean is when there’s a big call, we will have more people to draw from to get on the scenes.”

The new Central Berkeley Fire and EMS motto in Latin is strength through unity.