Horry County Fire Rescue adds more ambulances to combat county growth

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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Three new Horry County Fire Rescue (HCFR) ambulances have been put in service in the last week due to the growth of the county and more emergency calls taking place.

HCFR spokesperson Tony Casey said 2020 was the busiest year they’ve ever seen and 2021 is already on track to pass that.

“This is Horry County today, you’re seeing it grow in so many ways and the need for our emergency services is one of them,” Casey said.

Casey said Carolina Bays, Myrtle Beach Airport, and Pitch Landing in Conway are the latest three locations where ambulances were put.

“With the passages of the last 2 years’ budgets, we’ve had the ability to add new ambulances to our fleet. That gives them the option to add them to locations across the county where they haven’t been before,” Casey said.

According to Casey, there are 23 staffed daily ambulances currently. He said they plan on adding more emergency service vehicles as the county grows.

“It’s data-driven where we’re putting these ambulances, so we’re looking at the places that can be impacted by putting a new ambulance in service,” Casey said.

Casey said EMS units spend time transporting patients back and forth to hospitals so this not only helps ease the load from EMS units throughout the county but dispatchers. “When we’re adding these new ambulances into service, they’re able to give our dispatchers more options for when they’re dispatching our units to these calls.”

Casey added, “we’re really excited and we think the community will see that benefit to see more ambulances out there.”

Horry County Rising Founder and President, April O’Leary said she’s glad to see more units out there, especially in areas like Pitch Landing that are more prone to flooding.

“I do think it would help to have more emergency personnel near there should we need that,” O’Leary said.

O’Leary said she’d also like to see more water rescue vehicles in the area, saying, “I think it’s the right step, the right direction, but I don’t know if it’s going to provide a significant, meaningful benefit for families in that area without high water vehicles and boats and being able to put police there 24/7.”

Casey said they’re working to add more emergency vehicles all throughout the county and plan to at the new Longs fire station.

Casey said the new station 13 will be built and open in 2022.

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