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      Florence County wants community to know more about plan to merge fire districts

      Florence County Council proposing to consolidate 6 fire districts in the county.

      Florence County Council is holding a series of meetings to discuss its proposed ordinance to consolidate six fire districts in the county.

      The departments would remain intact, but essentially under the control of Florence County.

      County leaders believe merging the districts into one has a number of advantages, including better management and financial accountability.

      About 30 residents came out to the first meeting at West Florence Fire Department.

      Several firefighters were there and many seemed to support the county's plan to merge the districts.

      "With the implementation of the we'll be able to see an increased level of training, increased manpower. We'll have newer equipment that will help us deal with the new issues we are facing as the county grows. Interstate traffic, biological hazard, chemical hazard, are all things that firefighters in Florence County are responding to. And we need to be properly trained and equipped to deal with those issues," said Captain Anthony Fox with West Florence Fire Department.

      County council passed first reading on the ordinance last month.

      Here's a list of the remaining community meetings on the fire protection ordinance:

      7 p.m. Monday, April 7 at Johnsonville Fire Department, 341 S. Fire Station Road, Johnsonville

      7 p.m. Tuesday, April 8 at Hannah-Salem-Friendfield Fire Station, Old Pamplico Town Hall, 201 S. River Road, Pamplico

      7 p.m. Tuesday, April 15 at Howe Springs Fire Station, 2229 E. Howe Springs Road, Florence

      7 p.m. Thursday, April 17 at Olanta Rural Fire Department, 3505 Olanta Highway, Olanta

      7 p.m. Tuesday, April 22 at Windy Hill Volunteer Fire Station, 103 N. Williamson Road, Florence

      7 p.m. Tuesday, April 29 at Sardis-Timmonsville Fire Station, 1513 Cale Yarborough Highway, Timmonsville