PROSPERITY — Prosperity Fire Chief Kyle Vaughn went before Prosperity Town Council last week to address community member’s concerns on the Fire Department sound alarm going off in the middle of the night.
Resident Danny Kinard, who has spoken to Council about his concerns with the alarm, asked Vaughn when/if the 800 megahertz radio system would be operational after the system deadline was pushed back to the first of next year.
Vaughn said this had nothing to do with the system itself, but was only part of the growing pains when trying to build a new system for an entity, county or statewide.
The firemen communicate through the 800 megahertz radio system, but the paging system is VHF, Vaughn said while the current paging system is on VHF, they still experience issues with it in the core part of downtown Prosperity.
“If any firemen are in certain areas of town the fire alarm goes off and the pager never goes off, the pagers not working,” he said.
Vaughn lives about three miles out of town and in an example he gave to Council the alarm was a benefit to him.
“A lot of times in the afternoon when I come in from work my pager is dead and I have to put it on charge, I put my pager on charge and went to let my dog out of the dog pen and I hear the fire siren going off, me and the mayor discussed this and he said ‘you have paging, right’ and I said ‘yes sir, but that is not 100 percent all the time,’” Vaughn said. “I heard the siren so I pulled out my phone to wait on my text message from County Control, luckily it wasn’t anything important because it took eight minutes for my phone to receive the text, that’s not saying anything bad about County Control.”
If there was a possibility to sound the alarm at a certain time, Vaughn brought up the possibility of sounding the alarm between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and after 8 p.m. not blowing the siren, he said if that were an option he doesn’t know what the 100 percent outcome would be.
There is an 800 megahertz pager, but the cost would be twice as much per pager. Prosperity Rescue Chief Glenn Hamm said the price would range between $700-800 per pager for the 22 volunteer firemen that serve the community.
“We hope that with the clarity of the 800 megahertz system it would be an improvement and I think it will be well worth testing and looking into, but it will be an expensive upgrade when we talk about $800 per pager for 22 firemen,” Hamm said.
No decision was made during the meeting, instead Mayor Derek Underwood and Council decided to get a small committee together to discuss the town’s options and then come back with a joint, written response.
In other business, Lt. Harry Bodiford reported some of the calls the department responded to include: two civil disturbances, one trespassing, one driving under suspension, one hit and run, one driving under the influence and one harassment.
Bodiford also informed Council that the next Community Meeting will be on October 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the courtroom.
• Councilman Mike Hawkins made a motion to amend rate schedule 8.1 A in the second reading of a business license ordinance to correct a scrivener error, Martin seconded.
• The first reading of an ordinance relating to the recovery of collection costs as a part of delinquent debts collected pursuant to the Setoff Debt Collection Act after a motion from Hawkins and second from Martin.
• A resolution to authorize the Municipal Association of South Carolina to act as claimant agency for the collection of debt on behalf of Town of Prosperity in accordance with the Setoff Debt Collection Act was passed after a motion from Councilman Chad Hawkins and second from Martin.
• A resolution committing the Town of Prosperity to providing a local match for a Municipal Association of S.C. Hometown Economic Development grant and following its procurement policy when securing services and products with grant funds was passed after a motion from Martin and second from Councilman Chad Hawkins.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.