News and Announcements

Public news and announcements are brought to you by the Horry County Public Information Office.

Horry County News and Announcements


Horry County Announces the Implementation of the Medical Priority Dispatch System

Conway, South Carolina - Horry County E911 is excited to announce the implementation of the Medical Priority Dispatch System™ (MPDS®), which will go “live on December 16, to better serve the citizens of Horry County in emergency situations.

Dispatchers using the newly implemented protocol system:

  • will follow nationally recognized standards
  • give universal, consistent care and service to every caller
  • gather critical emergency call information for responders
  • identify life-threatening situations
  • safely prioritize calls for appropriate and fast response
  • provide “Zero Minute” Dispatch Life Support using Pre-Arrival and Post-Dispatch Instructions

Implementing the Medical protocol enables dispatchers to accurately assess each emergency situation and send the best response possible while safeguarding valuable and limited emergency services resources and increasing safety for both citizens and responders. One key benefit Horry County E911 will now provide is a constant stream of crucial and updated scene information to field responders en route. This information will better prepare responders to give precise assistance when they arrive at the scene. 

According to Fred Crosby, Chief of Horry County Fire Rescue, “Priority Dispatch allows us to ensure that the citizens get the right help at the right time and will improve our efficiency greatly. The implementation of this program is a huge leap forward in our capabilities and we are thankful that the 9-1-1 department has taken this step.”  

The Priority Dispatch System™ (PDS™) includes ProQA® software and/or card sets, a three-day certification training course for emergency dispatchers, and continual quality improvement (QI) benchmarks and training. All dispatchers who work on the new system are certified by the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch® (NAED™) and must recertify every two years, completing 24 hours of continuing dispatch education (CDE) and passing all requirements for NAED recertification.  

Proactive quality improvement (QI) benchmarks are an important part of the newly implemented Priority Dispatch System. Use of the PDS allows communications centers to assess the quality of the care they are providing their communities, allowing them to make positive adjustments to training and staff in response to these assessments.  

The constantly evolving Priority Dispatch System (PDS) will help provide the highest standard of care to the community, allowing Emergency Medical Dispatchers to better manage limited resources and increase the accuracy and efficiency of the dispatching process. 

“The Priority Dispatch System will allow us to constantly improve our delivery of service to the citizens, visitors and emergency responders in Horry County.  We look forward to providing the highest level of service to our community,” noted Toni Bessent, E911 Director. 

Horry County E911 dispatches all emergency ambulances in the county from its center in Conway. It is staffed by 51 telecommunicators and nine support personnel. Over 210,000 911 calls were received last year.  

As this system of protocol implementation, training, and quality improvement is set into place, you can be confident that Horry County E911 is earning the public’s trust with every call and is your best possible source of help during times of medical emergency. 

Contact Information:

For this story and Horry County E911
Contact: Toni Bessent, Director Horry County E911
Phone: 843-915-5100
For the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch
Contact: Kris Berg
Phone: 800-960-6236 ext. 116 
NAED website 

For Priority Dispatch products, training, and services
Contact: Adam Hinckley
Phone: 800-363-9127 ext. 132
PDC website

Horry County To Utilize CodeRED Emergency Notification System

Conway, South Carolina – Horry County has contracted with Emergency Communications Network, Inc. of Ormond Beach, Florida, for its “CodeRED” high-speed telephone emergency notification services. The CodeRED system gives county officials the ability to deliver pre-recorded emergency telephone notification/information messages to targeted areas or the entire county at a rate of up to 60,000 calls per hour.   


Randy Webster, Horry County’s Emergency Management Director, cautioned that such systems are only as good as the telephone database supporting them. “Although the system houses a database populated from multiple sources, if your phone number is not in the database, you will not be called,” stated Webster. The CodeRED system gives individuals and businesses the ability to add their own phone numbers directly to the system’s telephone database. The system allows you to enter as many phone numbers as you need for other family members or employees at your business by re-entering your information. The system also allows you to enter email addresses as the emergency notification can be broadcasted by phone, text or email.   

To ensure no one is omitted, Webster urges all individuals and businesses to log onto Horry County’s website and follow the link to the “CodeRED Residential and Business Data Collection” page. Your contact information will remain private and will only be used for emergency notifications. Those without internet access may call the Horry County Public Information Office at (843) 915-5390, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to give their information over the phone to be added to the CodeRED system. Required information includes first and last name, street address (physical address, no P.O. Boxes), city, state, zip code, primary phone number (if a cell phone number is used, you will need the name of your cell phone provider) and additional phone numbers are optional. 

Again, no one should automatically assume his or her phone number is included. All businesses should register, as well as all individuals who have unlisted phone numbers, who have changed their phone number or address within the last year, and who use a cellular phone as their primary home phone. Since the system is a geographical based notification system, street addresses are needed to select which phone numbers will receive emergency notification calls in any given situation.   

Horry County will conduct an “All Call” validation test beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, September 23. Numbers that are registered in the system will get a call from Horry County, which will be a test of the CodeRED emergency system. The “All Call” will scrub the database of numbers that cannot be confirmed as valid and will be removed from the system. This will create a cleaner list resulting in more connected calls and less network congestion when a real emergency happens.   

Other CodeRED features:   

  • TTY/TDD Functions – The CodeRed system allows those hearing impaired to also sign up to receive emergency notifications. Text Telephones (TTY), also known as Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD), are used by the deaf, hard–of–hearing, and individuals with speech impairments to communicate   
  • Message Playback – You may hear the last message to your phone through the CodeRED system by simply dialing back the number on your Caller ID. Community members can easily identify calls coming from the CodeRED system as the recipient’s Caller ID will read Emergency Communications Network or 866-419-5000.   
  • CodeRED Mobile Alert App – The free, available app is geo-aware so no matter where you are when an alert is issued, you will receive notifications that affect you – right on your mobile device. The app delivers information from community officials in areas that are subscribed to the CodeRED Emergency Notification System. The free app is available on Horry County’s website.   
  • CodeRED Weather Warning – This is an opt-in only weather warning product that taps into the National Weather Service’s Storm Based Warnings. This geographical targeted weather warning product is built into the CodeRED system and will alert citizens moments after a severe thunderstorm, flash flood, or tornado warning has been issued. Community members can easily identify calls coming from the CodeRED Weather Warning as the recipient’s Caller ID will read Emergency Communications Network or 800-566-9780. The CodeRED Weather Warning also provides a CodeRed Weather Warning Mobile App which is $4.99 per year, but comes with a complimentary 30-day trial with the CodeRed Mobile Alert App.