Fire rescue teams talk about new "War room" strategy for emergen - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Fire rescue teams talk about new "War room" strategy for emergencies

Horry County Fire Rescue is not wasting any time in making changes to how it handles holidays and busy weekends, following the chaos and violence of Memorial Day weekend. | Source: WMBF News Horry County Fire Rescue is not wasting any time in making changes to how it handles holidays and busy weekends, following the chaos and violence of Memorial Day weekend. | Source: WMBF News

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF)- Horry County Fire Rescue is not wasting any time in making changes to how it handles holidays and busy weekends, following the chaos and violence of Memorial Day weekend.

HCFR crews are the first to admit that the number of calls was overwhelming, especially during the height of the violence that Saturday night when three people were murdered in just one of several shootings.

"We had to bring in extra help and more people in, move things around and it kind of caught us down a little bit," said HCFR Brian VanAernem.

As the number of 911 calls surged that weekend, crews had to improvise and change how they were staging teams. The changes led to some confusion.

In an email obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Chief Fred Crosby said due to a heavy call load, crews used Myrtle Beach Fire Station One as a staging area.

Crosby said at one point, crews thought there may have been as many as 10 victims needing treatment; however, a captain did not think there was enough room for all the teams at Station One and wanted to move them elsewhere.

Crosby added that the crews adjusted well after the curveball of communications. HCFR leaders have made changes to make sure that doesn't happen again.

From now on, holiday or busy weekends, HCFR will have a command post out in the field where crews can speak face to face and be better organized.

"Kind of using some of the old philosophies from the Navy and other armed services and with all of our technology today with the AVLs, we know where all our medic units are, we know who's going to the hospital," added VanAernem.  "We can have all those devices in the operations center and as trends develop, we can shuffle the units around."

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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