Emergency responders rev up for bike week - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Emergency responders rev up for bike week

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - While thousands of bikers are heading to the beach, first responders are also taking to the streets.

Police are pulling extra shifts and firefighters are adding extra units in preparation for the rally. Police believe the weekend had a slow start, but it's not stopping them from patrolling.

Horry County Police are keeping up with the crowds by keeping an eye on permits, responding to drag racing calls, and being a presence in busy spots.

"Our main point is making sure people are having a good time, people are being safe. We want to make sure everyone who comes in here is going home safe," explains Sgt. Ashley Hardee with the Horry County Police Department.

It's a slower start this year, police believe, with the streets relatively quiet before midnight.

Police aren't the only emergency responders gearing up for the rally - so are firefighters and EMS.

"Today, for a Sunday, has been busier than we expected," says Battalion Chief Ian Maxwell with Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue.

A busy Sunday was unexpected, but well-prepared for. Earlier this month, the fire department added a Basic Safety Ambulance to help with the increase of calls.

"We did try to get it in place before bike week, Memorial Day, other big weekends this month," says Maxwell.

The BLS responds to basic calls when someone needs to be transported or treated without needing advanced care. This allows the advanced units to focus on more severe injuries.

First responders believe the rally will really get in gear around Wednesday.

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