Pickens Co. fire departments: "More manpower, faster response ti - FOX Carolina 21

Pickens Co. fire departments: "More manpower, faster response times" due to changes

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Fire gear. (7/3/17 FOX Carolina) Fire gear. (7/3/17 FOX Carolina)
PICKENS, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Upstate firefighters are crossing district lines in Pickens County to better protect people and their homes.

Croswell Fire Chief and Pickens County Emergency Management Director Scott Smith,said many were not well-protected when it comes to insurance because they lived too far away from their assigned fire station.

A new program called the Box Alarm Program alleviates that issue.  

"When you call 911, you really don't care what name is on the side of the fire truck, you just want someone to come and help," Chief Smith said.  

Smith was one of the 14 chiefs in the county to sit down and talk about the changes in the way these stations respond to fires, honing in on a new response method. 

"If you're more than five miles away from a fire station, they basically say you have no fire protection at all," Smith said, talking about insurance. "With this system we've incorporated a lot of those areas that were outside of the areas of their 'home department' and another fire department may be less than five miles, so they are getting credit for that on their home owners insurance. " 

Officials said now the closest possible department will respond to a call, whether or not they're technically assigned to that home or business.

"It allowed us to 1300 parcels that could not be covered within five miles of their fire district station, and we've decreased that down to just a little over 400 parcels that couldn't be covered," Pierce Womack said.

Womack is the Pickens County emergency management deputy director. 

"If we have to cross Highway 123, the afternoon traffic is killer...it slows us down."

It's the reason this new program has another part to it. Now there will always be two stations responding to one call. 

The new program will include faster response times, and double the man power on scene. 

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