Grand Strand

Horry County Fire Rescue considers limiting hospital choice

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) - Horry County Fire Rescue looks to change the way EMS responders take people to the hospital. Right now if you need emergency care you have a choice of which hospital you go to.

Chief Joseph Tanner told the Horry County Public Safety Committee Monday his department is wasting time and resources taking people to their hospital of choice for minor injuries.

For example, if someone sprains their ankle in Surfside but asks to be taken to Loris, Tanner said that is a lot of travel time for something that could have been treated closer.

The department wants its responders to have the ability to figure out the most appropriate hospital each time.

Capt. Mark Nugent said the changes do not apply to critical patients, as they are usually taken to the closest hospital anyway.

“It sort of causes a ripple effect across the county in terms of units being out of service,” Nugent said. “If we can keep them in their district running calls there, the better it is for the better of the whole.”

The public safety committee agreed Monday to let HCFR move forward with this new plan.

Nugent said this is not something that needs approval by county council.

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