Celebrating EMS week 2021: Horry County officials say they expect to see increase in calls

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County Fire Rescue (HCFR) is on track for a record year for number of calls.

Tony Casey with HCFR said the department received more than 63,000 calls in 2020. Casey said the department is on track for 66,000 calls by the end of 2021 as the population continues to grow in the county.

“The busiest year we’ve ever seen in Horry County. We’ve seen populations move down here. We are growing as a community so our call volume will go with that,” Casey said.

Casey said in 2020, 87% of those calls were medical-related.

“We respond to overdoses. We see a lot of car accidents, incidents that they result in trauma that we have to run and our medical calls have jumped up across the board,” Casey said.

EMS Officer Capt. Patrick Ellis has been with HCFR for the past eight years. He serves multiple roles as a supervisor.

“I am primarily responsible for the medic units, call responsiveness, moving them around as needed based on call volumes and providing them with equipment and medications that they need,” Ellis said.

Ellis walks us through a day in the life of a paramedic.

“They love going to the automobile accidents, the shootings and helping those kinds of people out,” Ellis said.

Ellis said one of his favorite parts about his career is helping out the elderly.

“I get really involved in the medical and the elderly patients. I love talking to the elderly patients. I feel like they deserve a lot more respect,” Ellis said.

“Doesn’t matter your race, religion, poverty level, income base, we are here to help everybody regardless. We don’t judge. We are here. You call 911, we will come help you and we will do everything we can to make you feel better,” Ellis said.

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