Palmetto Railways donates to enhance emergency services for Cross community
Palmetto Railways, a division of the South Carolina Department of Commerce, announced Monday, Dec. 11, that it is providing $375,000 in funding to Central Berkeley Fire & EMS for the Cross Rural Fire District to upgrade equipment and infrastructure to improve emergency services available to the Cross community.
Palmetto Railways is partnering with the emergency services provider as part of the transportation-related mitigation for the Camp Hall Rail Project to minimize and compensate for transportation impacts.
“Palmetto Railways is not only committed to providing rail service that supports and enhances economic growth, but it is also equally committed to ensuring those who live near the lines we operate have the quality of life and safe environment to be a thriving part of the local community,” said Patrick McCrory, Palmetto Railways president and CEO. “The opportunity to help with improving the services emergency responders can provide as well as the equipment they use is something we are proud to support.”
Palmetto Railways engaged the leadership of the emergency services provider to identify the best way to maximize the mitigation funds. With the funding made available by Palmetto Railways in a memorandum of agreement, Central Berkeley Fire & EMS will complete building renovations and improvement work at the Cross District Fire Station on Old Highway 6 in Cross.
“It’s encouraging and appreciated when business and industry work within the local community to mitigate the impacts of growth,” said Johnny Cribb, Berkeley County supervisor. “Public safety and infrastructure improvements are top priorities for Berkeley County and its leaders. We know this generous donation will go a long way to provide for the needs of our rural fire departments and our communities in and around Cross.”
Funding used for upgrades related to the Cross Rural Fire District is in addition to other transportation mitigation activities Palmetto Railways is performing as part of the development of the Camp Hall Rail Project, including advanced at-grade, railroad crossing signalization systems, at-grade early warning systems at specific crossing locations and rail-related emergency services training.
“We are excited about the partnership between Central Berkeley Fire & EMS and Palmetto Railways,” said Tim Stephenson, chief of Central Berkeley Fire & EMS. “We are being given the opportunity to take an old station, which is currently only big enough to house apparatus and rebuild it into a proper fire station with accommodations to staff a crew. This is a huge win, not just for our department but for the residents of the Cross Fire District. The fact we can do this without a significant impact on our operational budget is a testament to the lengths we go to be fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars.”