MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – As many families pack up their swimsuits and sunblock, Myrtle Beach firefighters are gearing up for a busy holiday weekend.
Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue spokesperson Lt. Jonathan Evans said the July 4th weekend is one of the department’s busiest times of the year, and compared it to Memorial Day weekend and Carolina Country Music Festival. “We’re obviously planning to be busier and running around. Maybe not sleeping as much or relaxing as much. We’re ready for it,” said Lt. Evans
He says the department is always staffed to handle high call volumes, but that Myrtle Beach firefighters are ready to work longer, busier shifts this weekend. “I know on average we’ve been running about 50 plus calls a day, which is pretty busy. But that can get up to 75, 100 calls,” he said. Lt. Evans adds that most of those calls have nothing to do with fireworks. “People on the beach they might get overheated. Of course more car accidents. The more cars you have around, the car accidents are going to increase. Medical calls – more people are in town, sometimes they don’t bring their medication, they don’t think they need it,” he said.
According to Lt. Evans, after eight drownings in Myrtle Beach last summer, city officials put more first responders on the beach. The fire department has three beach patrols this summer as well, and Evans said it’s having an impact. “So far we have had no drownings this year. We’ve been lucky and fortunate that everybody’s been staying safe and we haven’t had any of those issues. We’ve had those eyes and been able to be there when people do get in distress.”
Though Myrtle Beach firefighters will be ready and waiting, Lt. Evans is asking residents and visitors to take extra caution this weekend. “Make sure you’re taking care of your family and watching what they’re doing. We’re out there doing beach patrols along with the police department and lifeguard service. But again, safety starts with you.”