SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCBD) – This week, Dorchester County Council members dissolved the Dorchester County Fire Protection Special Tax District.
Council members say that this Decision was made to improve fire services offered to smaller, rural communities.
At this time, towns such as St. George and Ridgeville contract with the county for fire protection.
This first move by county council is said to remove the need for each community to have a separate contract with the county.
Over the years, Dorchester County has seen an much growth in the county. According to council members, this has resulted in a higher demand for safety.
“This is no longer a town or a county of 50,000 people we’re growing. We are over 160,000 now and we got to do things different,” says Jay Byars, Dorchester County Council Member.
Since 2013, Dorchester County Council members have worked to meet these demands by providing small community stations with a better foundation for safety.
“Dorchester County used to be comprised of a lot of rural fire districts and special tax assessment districts. In order to clean that up, those districts no longer exist,” says Byars.
Instead, within Dorchester County, Summerville Fire, North Charleston and Dorchester County Fire and Rescue will be managing those stations.
“There’s no longer any need that governors local fire protection because it’s all governed by those three entities,” says Byars.
At this time, the county is dissolving the need for each community to contract with the county for services.
“We just dissolved Ashly River Station this past year in the north Charleston area, so we’re not closing those stations, we are just bringing them into Dorchester County and Rescue,” says Byars.
In the grand scheme of it all, this consolidation will give residents quicker service during the moments when time is of the essence.
“We can have automatic aid so nobody cares what kind of truck shows us and puts out the fire and gets there and makes sure they are taking care of people who need help,” says Byars.
The exception to this coverage is the Summerville and North Charleston portions of Dorchester County.
All have their own fire departments.
Volunteers are still very much welcome to give their time in the county.
If you’d like to give your time and help protect your community you can visit the link here