The first Rural Fire Department was started in Pleasant Hill by a group of men in March of 1976. The first apparatus that the department owned was given to them by the S.C. Forestry Commission, which was a skid truck with a tank in the bed. They used that truck until March of 1979. They purchased the second truck from Johnsonville Fire Department, which was a 1953 Ford F-750. The apparatus was stationed at Mr. Tom Owens house under a barn shed where it responded to all calls.
The following are the original members that started the first department:
Tom E. Owens -- President Lenny Owens -- Vice President Ervin O. Poston -- Secretary/Treasure Hugh W. Snowden -- Director Wayne M. Owens -- Director W. Wendell Cribb -- Director Waylon Owens -- Director A. E. Barnhill Jr. -- Director
Georgetown County Fire Department Division started with the conglomeration of several volunteer departments that combined a county wide department in 1982. At that time, the fire department purchased six 1982, 1000 gallon pumpers and one 1500 gallon tanker. these pumpers were housed at the individual District Chiefs homes until the stations were built. The construction of the original six stations were built in 1985 and were located in Pleasant Hill, Dunbar, Santee, Sampit, Lambertown and Plantersville, The first Fire Chief for the county was Gene Armstrong who held this position until January 1989. After his retirement , Mack Reed Jr. was then appointed Chief of the department, and is the acting Chief at this time. In 1995, three more stations were added and were located at the Airport, Brick Chimney and Ringle Heights. Three more 1000 gallon pumpers were purchased in 1995 and housed at these three locations. In 1996, the last three stations were constructed at Choppee, Rhems and the Pee Dee areas and received three 1996 1000 gallon pumpers. In 1998, five 1000 gallon pumpers were purchased to be housed at the stations which also housed the original 1982 pumpers. The department was supported by 16 full time employees which included one Fire Chief, Two Assistant Chiefs, One Inspector, and 12 firefighters that manned the stations during daylight hours Monday thru Friday. The Fire Department recently replaced the apparatus stationed at Sandy Island in October 2002.
In July of 2005, Georgetown County officially merged the Fire Department with Georgetown County EMS to form Georgetown County Emergency Services. The EMS department operates an Advanced Life Suppport ambulance service from 6 locations within the county and inside the City of Andrews. EMS covers approximately 750 square miles, including the City of Andrews and the City of Georgetown. EMS responds to approximately 5,000 calls/year.
In 2008, the department added two 1000 gallon 4 man cab pumpers and two 2000 gallon tankers. At the present time, Georgetown County Fire/EMS is staffed with the following career personnel and work on (3) 24 hour shifts: