Moncks Corner considering launching their own EMS unit

MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - The Town of Moncks Corner wants to know if residents want to pay for an additional EMS unit.

Right now there is one Berkeley County ambulance inside the town limits.

It's located behind the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office on Live Oak Drive.

"It's overworked," Moncks Corner Mayor Michael Lockliear said Tuesday.

Lockliear says the town is growing and needs more EMS units to serve residents.

"We grew 25 percent in the last three years," he said.

The mayor says an additional ambulance could help cut down on emergency response times.

He says right now the response time in the town limits is about eight minutes.

He says that's a little longer than it should be.

"If you have head trauma, the magic number is six minutes. You want to get there before six minutes," Lockliear said.

Residents we spoke with say the additional ambulance is needed.

"Drive down old 52, new 52, look at all the new subdivisions coming in. That's all potential calls for EMS so I think whether you do it now or do it in a couple of years, you're gonna have to do it soon," John Joe said.

"I think it's a wonderful idea. We need that yes, because we have so many accidents happening in this area and we need that," Michelle Weathers said.

Lockliear says it will cost taxpayers about $600,000 for an ambulance and staffing.

"When it comes to taxpayer money you know they want in this day and time they want you to be very frugal which I think we are. But until you need EMS to come to your house, you really don't know how bad you need it," Lockliear said.

The mayor says another alternative may be for the county and the town to each pay for a new ambulance.

Then there would be three ambulances in the town limits.

In response, Berkeley County's Deputy Administrator Tim Callanan told us the county's been negotiating with Moncks Corner for several months and that a proposal has been made to the town for an increased EMS presence.

"In the meantime, the county will be doubling its EMS coverage for Moncks Corner from two units to four units," Callanan said.

The mayor says comments made at a public hearing Tuesday night will help officials decide their next move.

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