CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Crash after crash played out on a screen in front of dozens of first responders and SCDOT staff members on Thursday. During a one-day training, the core members were hit hard with disturbing facts.
There is an increasing number of police officers, firefighters, EMTs, tow truck operators, and SCDOT staff killed on the side of the road while responding to traffic accidents.
“We want to protect the public as much as first responders,” stated Mike Bowen with the SCDOT. Bowen led the discussion on Thursday for the Myrtle Beach division of the Traffic Incident Management Team.
“It is a national effort by the Highway Safety Administration to train 100,000 responders by December 31 of this year,” he explained.
By talking to core leaders such as Myrtle Beach Police Chief Warren Gall and Horry County Coroner Robert Edge, the team hopes to compile information to deploy to every emergency responder.
In a press release, the group explained “the intent is to provide training in clearing highway incidents faster and more safely for all agencies and services that respond to highway crashes.”
While there is no charge for the workshop, the information is invaluable.
Team members learned information on how to quickly clear a scene and getting them out of harms way.
Brian Purvis, the Senior Incident Management Engineer with Parsons, told first responders that for every one minute a lane is blocked it causes five minutes of congestion.