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      Horry County firefighters get "heart-healthy" award

      The American Heart Association says Horry County Fire Rescue is a "Fit-Friendly Company."

      This is the second year in a row the AHA awarded HCFR the Platinum Award, making it the only fire department to achieve the honor.

      The award means the department promotes a culture of wellness, has achieved positive outcomes, offers employees physical activity support, increases healthy eating options at work, and implements six physical and two nutritional activities.

      "Maintaining good, physical, health is essential to every fire personnel," stated Garry Alderman, fire chief for Horry County Fire Rescue. "The number one cause of firefighter fatalities is cardiac-related. By reaching platinum status with the American Heart Association, Horry County Fire Rescue has shown a dedication to encouraging a healthy lifestyle, as well as providing the best work environment possible. This in turn, will not only benefit our employees' health, but the lives and property of the citizens we serve."

      About 100 employers around the country have been given platinum status by the heart association.

      The Associated Press contributed to this report.