EMS works to keep response times down for both the Harley Rally - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

EMS works to keep response times down for both the Harley Rally and Bikefest

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Fire Rescue is bringing in extra units and more personnel for the busy bike weekends. Despite the traffic making it harder to get around, first responders want to get to you as quickly as they can.

Emergency responders say they are doing everything they can to ensure they will be able to get to an emergency in time to save someone's life if they have to. This means adding ambulances and personnel, and their goal is to maintain their normal response time.

"We try to keep our average under six minutes if possible," Deputy Chief Scott Thompson said. Thompson said things that impact response times are traffic, units already being used for other calls, and whether or not hospitals are diverting patients. 

However, during both bike events, Thompson said they are adding to their 19 total ambulance units, and bringing in about 10 more from surrounding areas including Garden City Murrells Inlet Fire Rescue, and Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue. 

Thompson explains if they notice more and more calls coming from one area, they will station more units in that area. 

The average response time for last year's bike events, both the Harley Rally and Bikefest was 6 minutes and 43 seconds. Thursday's average response time, when many bikers were riding in for the rally, was 6 minutes and 32 seconds.

However, Horry County Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Scott Thompson looks at the response time in two parts.

The first part is reaction time. "What we call the reaction time, is from the time the 911 center alerts our department that we have an emergency, to the time units are responding," Thompson said.

Horry County's 911 center's Deputy Director Renee Hardwick said calls should be answered within ten to fifteen seconds, and her workers dispatch immediately. Hardwick said when it comes to an emergency, they may still be on the phone with the caller when they dispatch the call.

Deputy Chief Thompson said his department tries to keep its reaction time under two minutes, and following the reaction time is the response time.

"From the time they are responding to the time they arrive on scene is the actual response time," Thompson explained.

The 911 call center is also bringing on extra workers to make sure calls are answered right away.

Thompson stresses not to call 911 if you do not have an emergency.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly