SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The South Carolina Highway Patrol has handled 13 accidents involving motorcycles this past week in Horry County. With one more weekend to go for Harley Week, more is being done to keep the roads safe.
In Surfside Beach, if someone is injured in an accident, when you call 9-1-1 for a medical emergency, a fire truck may show up at first instead of an ambulance, but it's to an advantage.
What happens in the minutes after an accident is crucial to whether a person survives, but this is the time of year when the ambulances are constantly running. To help with response, Surfside Beach Fire stepped up training to prepare for the Bike Weeks, by having firefighters go through specific training for handling motorcycle accidents. This is so they will know and be reminded on what to do in those crucial moments.
Surfside Beach Fire Chief Dan Cimini says it's because there are only so many Horry County ambulances, yet there's more than 1,100 square miles in the county to cover. Since it's about saving lives, Cimini says it's only right they step in and help at the scene.
"The first responder is the fire department," said Cimini. "They're going to be the first ones in. They're going to be the ones giving that immediate and temporary care to that person until that medic unit can get on scene."
So far this year, there have been no reports of fatal accidents during Bike Week. The South Carolina Highway Patrol says we are doing about the same as last year when it comes to the number of motorcycle accidents. This weekend is expected to be a busy weekend for all first responders as well as next weekend, during Bike Fest and Memorial Day.