HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Fire Rescue is using a $65,000 grant from the state to place 10 mass casualty trailers around the county. However, the trailers will not only benefit people within the county lines, but wherever resources are needed.
The mass casualty trailers will be strategically placed throughout the county to make sure enough resources are available in case something like a catastrophic bus crash, for example, ever happens.
The trailers will be equipped to care for even the critically injured, and will hold resources to help between 25 to 50 people. Supplies needed to treat patients will be more readily available in an emergency situation.
So far this year, emergency crews in Horry and Georgetown counties have responded to more than 18,000 medical calls combined, and with an increased population, more resources are needed.
Horry County Fire Rescue officials say the trailers will even be ready to deploy to Georgetown County if a major emergency happens there. Officials with Midway Fire Rescue say the trailers are an important asset to have.
"It identifies a nice need for all the counties and it definitely, without question, is going to enhance it," Midway Fire Rescue Chief Doug Eggiman said.
DHEC agreed the new trailers would add to the county's capabilities to handle a large-scale emergency, due to ambulances only carrying so many tools.
The trailers will be back-up for more things like supplies for decontamination, personal protection, life-saving devices and long-term patient care supplies like cots and blankets.
The trailers can also be used to deliver supplies for EMS workers like water, food, and clothing - things that can be shared with other departments like Midway Fire Rescue.
"In a mass causality-type incident it works out better, it provides the care, provides the quality and provides the resources," Eggiman said.
Private ambulance services are already on standby in case of a disaster. Officials have written franchise agreements in place for when services are needed.
The department will check expiration dates on the medicines and replace them as needed just as if they were in an ambulance.
Fire officials say there will be exercises and training specific to the new trailers closer to their delivery.