Midway helps community protect property from fire

  • Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ron Holt helps his son, Josh, 3, get an up-close view of the tread on the bulldozaer operated by the S.C. Forestry Commission in Georgetown County. Six men are trained to operate the dozer.

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Josh Holt, three, may be excused if hes a bit overwhelmed by the equipment his father, Ron Holt, uses to combat woodland fires throughout Georgetown County.

After all, one wheel on the bulldozer the older Holt uses in his work is about four times the size of the youngster.

The bulldozer, which sits on a semitrailer, was one of two pieces of equipment the S.C. Forestry Commission and Midway Fire Rescue brought to Inlet Square Mall Aug. 9, to show the community how the two organizations work together to battle woodland fires.

This year has been a down year for the organizations, thanks to a wet year. But the previous four years have been hard on the crews.

Many of the fires which broke out were blamed on lightning and arson. The Forestry Commission has one enclosed bulldozer, which benefits the operator, explained Holt.

That lets him have some protection from the elements. An open bulldozer means that the person operating the equipment has to battle smoke and flames with little protection.

The fire truck, one of three that serves Georgetown County, comes equipped with axes, picks, hoes, rakes and portable pumps, explained Mark Mercer, a master firefighter, to Eleanor Hicks.

The specially-equipped fire engines are housed at Prince George and DeBordieu Colony, and serve not only Georgetown, but rural areas of Horry County when called upon.

The two organizations came to the mall to let the community view the equipment and to become better informed how to protect their property from woodland fires.

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