Charleston to invest millions on EMS jobs and equipment

Charleston, South Carolina – More than $2.8 million will be invested in the upcoming period in EMS for repairs, new jobs and equipment after the Charleston City Council unanimously approved the funds.

Over the last decade, the 911 calls have increased for more than 30%. This is a result of the growth of in Charleston County.

“Our population is growing. And with that growth comes more demands for equipment and people to run that equipment,” says Councilmember Anna Johnson.

According to the plan, part of the funds will be for hiring new personnel, a total of 44, 2 vehicles will be refurbished and 4 new vehicles will be purchased.

“We all realize that we have a problem and we need to fix this,” says a councilmember during Thursday’s meeting.

On Thursday, brand new mobile command unit was unveiled. It will be called Unified Command Center and will act as a hub for first responders form different agencies to collaborate.

There will be dozens of people included in the unit with 4 911 operators and 2 supervisors. The unit will cost the county $1.4 million.

“This enhances what we don’t have right now. The prior command center that we had was outdated, it had a lot of issues internally, mechanical-wise. So, this right here is a huge upgrade and is a big plus for public safety,” says Eric Watson, Deputy County Administrator for Public Safety.

The unit will have 2 main purposes:

  • law enforcement coordination at big events
  • quick response to large emergency situations

Charleston County officials say it will likely take months until the equipment will arrive because of the Pandemic.

Monica Doyle

Editor-in-Chief

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