The Williamsburg County Fire Department recently had a major renovation to its parking lot and a much needed piece of equipment for search and rescue. "The parking lot was in terrible condition," said Senator Yancey McGill who worked to get the $112, 000 in state funding for the project. It’s estimated the original parking lot was poured over 20 years ago. "It did not meet the standards or the needs of the trucks we had. Today we've come in with the right materials and now it is an entirely different safety complex."
In addition, the department added a 17-foot search and rescue boat. Fire Chief Randy Swinton said the boat will be used for search and rescue in the Pee Dee River, Black River and Staple Lake; however, Swinton said the department assists in other search and rescue missions. "We had four successful rescues last year," said Swinton. "We also assisted Dillon County in a missing persons." The $32,000 purchase was made possible through grants from the Department of Natural Resources. The boat is wider and heavy duty and equipped with emergency lighting. "It will be a great asset for the fire department, especially for one of greatest resources, the Black River," said McGill. "Today is a celebration for opportunity." McGill said he is also meeting with the department to discuss future plans.