Fire Chief Asks County for Help to Fund Full Time Staff as Call Volume Increases

RICHBURG, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – More man power.

The Richburg Fire Department Chief says they have surpassed more calls this year compared to the same time last year.

With only two full time employees and two part time employees, they are having to rely heavily on volunteers.

Chief T Melton says that is putting a strain on the department and he’s asking county leaders for more funding so he can have 24 hour coverage.

Within 36 hours this week, Chief Melton says his team has responded to numerous calls including 3 fatalities. Unfortunately the hustle of the job doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

“The call volume has increased dramatically, we are about 80 calls a head of where we were last year and last year was our busiest year” says Melton.

Melton says right now he has two full time paid employees and two part time. With the growing community, more calls on I-77 and throughout the area, the need for 24 hour coverage is also growing.

“Extra bodies would mean you had someone here all the time ready to go. It is really providing the level of service they deserve and can expect” says Melton.

Chief Melton says they recently had a study done to show the need for full time staff to Chester County council members. He says with their call volume their goal is four full time firefighters per shift, but he knows that’s a lot to ask, so right now they would be happy with at least one.

“We are the busiest station in the the county besides Chester City, but you’ve got to have a plan for all of those departments to keep them a head of the curve, we are behind the curve” says Melton.

Part-time firefighter and EMT, Breanna Morrow says the extra help would mean better coverage for the community.

We reached out to Pete Wilson who is on the Chester County council. He says the department presented the study at this week’s council meeting. He says he knows there are needs and as Chester County experiences growth, they are going to have to find ways to appropriately fund all of the county’s first responder agencies.


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