New equipment improves beach emergency response in NMB

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – A new off-road vehicle is helping first responders more easily access emergencies on the sand this summer in North Myrtle Beach.

North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue invested $45,000 in the custom-built vehicle it now calls “Beach II.” It gives firefighters the tools and means of transportation needed to respond to a wide-range of common calls on the actual beach – including medical issues and dunes fires.

“We were lacking in the ability to service medical calls, fires within the dunes and things like that,” NMB Fire Lt. Michael Huber explained. “It was quite a struggle to get firefighters out there, all our equipment out there, and with this vehicle, we’re able to drive it right out to the beach.”

The vehicle is stocked with medical equipment, 120 gallons of water, firefighting foam, and equipment to immobilize patients that need transported off the beach.

“We’re able to treat them right out on the beach, load them on to this, and it’s a lot safer for them and for us to get them off of the sandy surface and out to the waiting ambulance on the street,” Huber said.

“Beach II” is currently assigned to North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue’s Station 2 in Cherry Grove.

“We found it’s very effective getting the personnel out there. They’ve run quite a few medical calls. I’ve even personally run a fire with it and it prevented us from probably having to stretch a couple hundred feet of hose from the engine out on Ocean Boulevard all the way out to the dunes line all for a reasonably small fire,” Huber explained. “So it saved some actual wear-and-tear on the firefighters in this kind of heat.”

The department says its already purchased a sister vehicle that will be placed at North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue’s Station 3 in Windy Hill.