NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Thousands of people are expected to pack Grand Strand beaches this Memorial Day weekend, which kicks off the busiest time of the year for emergency crews like lifeguards in North Myrtle Beach, and doctors in the emergency room.
"We have some lifeguards working and we're trying to get as many ready for the weekend as possible," said Monty Reed, Lifeguard Coordinator for North Myrtle Beach. "We have 55 lifeguard stands on about 9 miles of beach here and we are hoping to have them all staffed for the weekend."
Reed said his staff will handle just about every type of emergency call this weekend.
"We'll have some major medicals but a lot of minor medicals," Monty said. "Kids needing band aids, answering lot of questions, and we also deal with a lot of missing kids and missing persons."
However, Reed said he is not expecting to receive many emergency calls related to problems in the ocean.
"I've noticed every day this week that the beach is getting more and more crowded but the water temperature I believe is down close to 70 degrees," Monty said. "This seems like over the past several years it hasn't been that cool so that kind of keeps people out of the water."
At Grand Strand Regional Medical Center, Dr. John Molnar said the staffing for the emergency and trauma departments will increase starting Friday heading into the long weekend.
Dr. Molnar described some of the injuries his staff could have to deal with this weekend.
"Motorcycle trauma so we encourage all those folks to wear their helmets," Dr. Molnar said. "We also see the start of the usual beach related type of injuries anything from a sprained ankle on a skim board to stingrays and jelly fish stings."