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In This Weeks Edition: 10-12-2011 Print E-mail

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County Fire Service ‘sees great improvements’

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

The Bamberg County Fire Service has made “many great improvements” over the past several years according to Bamberg County Fire Coordinator, Brenna Hancock. Hancock, who has been county fire coordinator since September 28, 2006 stated that of the nine fire departments and one substation in the county (five departments are within municipalities), almost all the departments have new or newer model trucks.

The Bamberg County fire departments includes: the Bamberg Fire Department, Colston Fire Department, Denmark Fire Department, Clear pond Fire Department, Govan Fire Department, Hunter’s Chapel Fire Department, Little Swamp Fire Department, Olar Fire Department, and Ehrhardt Fire Department. The departments have a total of 43 fire apparatus and a total of 174 men and women. The total number of calls answered by all departments in 2010 was 670.

Hancock noted that “new to our fire service in 2011 is the newly constructed 6,000 square feet Olar Fire Station” which replaced the original building that was built in 1908. Funding for the new station was from FEMA’s ARRA grant program.

Hancock stated that as of October 1, 2011, grants from the state, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and S.C. Forestry Commission received by county fire departments over the last several years is $2,574,443.

A program that has proven beneficial to the county fire service and will be continued for the 2011-2012 fiscal year will be the preventative health screening program for firefighters. “This program has proven to have saved some lives from heart attacks, which is the second highest killer of firefighters with the first being auto accidents,” Hancock noted.

In addition to saving lives and property, another major goal of the Bamberg County Fire Service is to lower the county’s ISO rating. Fire departments are rated by the Insurance Services Office on a scale of 1 to 10. The lower a communities PPC (Public Protection Classification) the lower the homeowner insurance premiums are for the residents near that department. The county fire commissioner said that most of the communities in Bamberg County (outside of the municipalities) currently have a PPC of 9. ISO officials have begun surveying the county to determine the current PPC “with hopes of lowering the current PPC rating.”

“Even though we have made a huge improvement with our fire service over the past five years, we will continue to upgrade equipment and vehicles so we can better serve our community. We applied for several grants in 2011 but will not know if we will receive any awards until next year,” Hancock said.

New for 2012, the Bamberg County Fire Service will participate in a program to actively recruit volunteers. If anyone would like to sign up now, there are several ways of contacting the fire service if you are interested in volunteering. You may call 245-3110 or visit You can also find the department on Facebook…search “Bamberg County Fire Services.”

October Is Fire Prevention Month

Being ahead of the game is the best way to protect your family from fire. With nearly 5,000 home fires reported in South Carolina in 2010, your best defense is a good offense.

That’s why South Carolina is joining with the National Fire Protection Association during the month of October to let citizens know: "It’s Fire Prevention Month. Protect Your Family From Fire! "This year’s campaign focuses on preventing the leading causes of home fires-cooking, heating and electrical equipment, candles and smoking materials. Additionally, citizens are encouraged to protect their homes and families with lifesaving technology and planning.

Accident claims life

Joyce M. Searson, Publisher

A Bamberg man lost his life Monday afternoon in an accident on Colston Rd. in Bamberg.

According to Lance Corporal Judd Jones, spokesman for the South Carolina Highway Patrol, Anthony Odom 43 of 16790 Ehrhardt Rd., Bamberg, was traveling west on Colston Rd. in a 1997 Ford pickup, when he ran off the right side of the road and then came back on the left side striking some trees. Odom was not wearing a seatbelt when he was ejected from the truck and was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:55 pm.

According to Bamberg County Coroner Billy Duncan, Odom's body was sent to MUSC for an autopsy. The autopsy report stated that death was caused by blunt force trauma.

Corporal Jones said the accident is still under investigation.

Bamberg native loses life

A 36-year old Branchville man, formerly of Bamberg, was killed Saturday night, when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a pickup truck on Cannon Bridge Road, near Orangeburg.

James "Jim Jim" Mundy V of Branchville was pronounced dead around 10:15 pm at the scene of the wreck.

According to Lance Corporal. Judd Jones of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, Mundy was traveling north on Cannon Bridge Road, outside of Orangeburg, when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a southbound 1994 Dodge pickup truck, driven by Kent Dash, 22, of Gaston. The pickup truck was making a left turn into a driveway.

Neither Dash, nor a female passenger, Britney Sharperson, both wearing seat belts, were injured. Mundy was wearing a helmet.

Mundy was the son of James C. Mundy IV and Patricia Nichols Mundy Corriher. He was a graduate of Bamberg- Ehrhardt High School and was a General Contractor. He had one son, James Cason Mundy VI of Columbia S.C.

Red Raiders roll over Hardeeville 56-0

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

With the team’s rushing leader, Chip Wannamaker sidelined , the Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School Red Raider football team (6-1, 4-0) did not miss a beat as they rolled to a 56-0 Region 5 A win over Hardeeville (0-7, 0-4) Friday night at Leon Maxwell Stadium. Sophomore quarterback Sumner Cooler rushed for two touchdowns and passed to senior Will Priester for another, while junior halfback Demetrius Odom would rush for three touchdowns for the second consecutive game in leading the Red Raider offense. Sophomore running backs Hunter Scharber and Tyrell Wilson would also add a touchdown and senior Brent Cook made six of seven PATs to round out the B-E scoring.

B-E head football Coach Kevin “Butch” Crosby noted after the game with Wannamaker out it was a time for the other players to step up. “We just had kids step up,” Crosby said noting the performances of sophomore Hunter Scharber. “He did a good job of stepping in running the ball, he waited his turn, we knew that he could,” Crosby said of Scharber. Coach Crosby also noted the performances of junior Sean Paul Morais and Demetrius Odom running the ball out of the B-E backfield. “We found some people who could go in and play for us in a situation like that,” Crosby said.

As for the Red Raider defense, who for the third week in a row pitched a shutout, and topped last week’s performance against Estill of nine sacks Friday night by recording 10 sacks against Hardeeville on the night. “I’m pleased with what’s been going on with our defense. The kids are more relaxed and they’ve been really getting after it,” Crosby said B-E defense “going to the ball and having fun.”

B-E defensive coordinator Corey Crosby said the emergence of the young B-E defense the last three weeks has been based on the coaching staff simplifying some things for the young players. “We just cut back on some things we were doing earlier and made it fun for the kids,” Coach Corey Crosby said.

Crosby noted that the defense borrowed a little something from the defensive philosophy of legendary B-E Coach Leon Maxwell, who taught his players to go to the football and have fun. “It seems like for the last three weeks that’s what they have been doing,” Crosby said, adding “we’re real basic and the kids have been having fun. It’s nothing we as coaching are doing, just coaching them technique wise and they’re going to the football and having fun.”

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