Florence County updates wreckage response training - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Florence County updates wreckage response training

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) Florence is seeing more and more wrecks on roads like I-95 and it's not just the people in those accidents that are getting hurt.

Florence County will now use several new techniques to keep fire, police and wreckage crews from being injured when they respond to crashes.

"EMS, fire and other type personnel including wrecker drivers are injured and killed at Emergency Scenes," said Fire and Rescue Coordinator, Sam Brockington.

It's estimated that more than 70 first responders, including tow truck personnel die every year after getting hit at the scene of an accident.

"The general public may have been inattentive or impaired, and breached the scene and run over or injured our personnel," said Brockington.

To increase awareness and safety during an accident, Florence County is using new ways to protect its workers.

"Use cones and fire trucks in a blocking mode to position the heaviest vehicles in the back and the lighter vehicles up front," said Brockington.

Fire responders say these new practices create a buffer between other drivers and the scene of the accident. There is one additional big change that Brockington said drivers are sure to notice.

"We'll take lane plus one to give the responders adequate room to work around the vehicle," said Brockington.

Lane plus one, means first responders will now take an additional lane to work emergencies. Officials say this additional lane not only adds protection, but also allows crews work faster when treating the injured or clearing wreckage.

Officials wanted to remind people that if you see an emergency vehicle with its signal and lights on remember you need to pull over. Also, if you are on the road when there is a wreck crews ask that you pay attention as traffic may be redirected.

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