YORK, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – York City Council holding a special called meeting and workshop on this past Monday, and the Fire Department was a hot topic. The city’s new fire chief giving a presentation.
York’s new fire Chief Michael Regal giving a presentation before council on, aid the department provides, ISO review, equipment , department changes, and a contract agreement between York County and the City of York. City leaders say there have been recent concerns over that agreement – which was last renewed in 2015 and expired in 2020.
Mayor Mike Fuesser sharing, “There’s been some talks going on with city leadership and county leadership and some things that were brought to our attention and we needed to find out exactly what was going on.”
York City Manager Seth Duncan says, “We are in a process of renewing that right now and with that agreement there’s some language that just needs to be cleaned up, just some gender things — but also it has departments that were not in existence back then, that are now that need to be covered.”
Departments to be added include – Smyrna, Bethany and Clover. Also a part of that presentation a review of the city’s ISO or Insurance Service Office rating. Currently the city is at a 4 ISO rating and is working to be at a 3 — Chief Regal says a few things are needed to make that happen.
York’s Fire Chief, Michael Regal says, “ISO rates us in many degrees from equipment, to reserve engine, to training, to water supply and all of that stuff comes in to play. All of it has a rating system built into it. One of the biggest things that we do get ratings on in the biggest number is the number of personnel.”
With 14 full-time firefighters and 16 volunteers, fire leaders say the greatest need at this department is people.
Chief Regal says, “ISO looks at things like getting 12 personnel on scene on the first-alarm assignment. That’s things we’re working to improve that goal towards, and also, that includes the automatic-aid which I spoke to earlier to include that in or on the first-alarm assignment — which means pretty much, that’s the first alarm when the call is dispatched out.”
Chief Regal says equipment real-estate is important too, and leaders are working with the county and surrounding departments to house fire vehicles. He says the department is also in need of more personal protective equipment or turn-out gear. He says gear is back ordered for more than 20 weeks, partly because of COVID.
Overall, Chief Regal shares, “We’re excited about new times coming here and the personnel are really looking forward to being able to doing, I would say different stuff than what they’ve been allowed to do in the past.”
In the video above, CN2’s Rachel Richardson is speaking with city and fire leaders about the Fire Department’s status.