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Horry County Fire Rescue Tests New Deployment Model, Increases Paramedic Coverage

On June 1, 2018 in County News

Conway, SC—Horry County Fire Rescue (HCFR) officials announce that the deployment model being tested in three fire/rescue districts has increased the paramedic coverage by an average of 83% across the three districts in the initial 19 days of the model.

The new deployment model is currently being tested in three stations: Station 18 (Stephens Crossroads), Station 7 (Lake Arrowhead), and Station 20 (Scipio).  In the first 19 days of the deployment model, those stations ran a combined 344 Emergency Medical calls for service.  Of those calls, 300 of the patients (87%), required basic life support (BLS) interventions, and 44 patients (13%) required advanced life support (ALS) interventions. Here are the immediate benefits:

1. This model has increased the availability of paramedics working in those three districts to respond to life threatening emergencies.

2. Paramedic availability and coverage in these three districts increased by an average of 83%. 

3. This model has decreased the amount of overtime required of our paramedics to work each day. 

The new deployment model assigns the paramedic at these stations to the fire apparatus, and the transport unit (ambulance) functions as a BLS unit. This Deployment Model Test has been approved by the HCFR Operational Medical Director, Dr. Thomas J. Martel, and is in full compliance with State EMS Regulation and Law. Each of these stations still has a full time paramedic responding to all ALS calls, just as they did under the previous model. The shift in apparatus assignment allows the ambulance to respond to, and make patient transports, in non-life threatening emergencies.  This allows the paramedic to remain available to respond to life-threatening emergencies.  

In these stations, both the fire apparatus and the ambulance respond to medical emergencies and fire emergencies.  For calls that require BLS interventions, only the ambulance responds, leaving the fire apparatus, with the paramedic, available to respond to life threatening emergencies.  

Horry County Fire Rescue Chief Tanner says, “We are always looking for ways to improve service delivery to our citizens.  The department is encouraged by these initial results, and will continue to work hard for the citizens of Horry County to provide efficient services and excellent patient care.  As a result of these improvements, we have seen a significant boost to employee morale in these areas and we will continue to make adjustments that ensure our members are safe each and every shift.” 




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