MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) The new Harrelson Boulevard extension allows for an easier connection from Kings Highway to the Highway 17 Bypass, but rescue crews with Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue are going one step further saying it's a road that can save your life.
"The mall and airport area was one of the last places in the city where we couldn't meet our response time goal of four minutes," said Battalion Chief Bruce Arnel.
With the extension, rescue crews now have an almost straight shot to the problem areas around Coastal Grand Mall and Seaboard Street. Before the extension, crews would have to wind along Kings Highway, Highway Fifteen, and Pine Island Road, adding extra time to each drive.
"Having Harrelson open gives us a straight shot from Station Three," Arnel said.
Before the extension, the average response time from Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue Station Three was about five minutes, now any response can be made in under four. Firefighters say that extra time is vital.
"It's better to be quicker," said Arnel, "rather than later."
Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue says the extension will also benefit EMS crews from Horry County Fire Rescue and both Myrtle Beach and Horry County Police Departments.