Recently relocated Andrews EMS services seeing longer response times
ANDREWS, S.C. (WCSC) - Documents show a small increase in response time after EMS ambulance services in Andrews were moved outside the town limits.
The only available EMS ambulance services in Andrews were moved outside of town limits in December. In March, community members expressed concerns over how future emergency situations would be handled.
The closest EMS location is now outside of town limits at 15 Big Dam Swamp Dr., taking 11 minutes to drive from the former location at 505 W. Alder St.
Live 5 obtained the EMS response times through the Freedom of Information Act, showing a slight change in times by seconds.
Response times reflect the ambulance, Medic 15′s, entire coverage area, not just the town of Andrews. The ambulance covers a large area, 190 square miles of Georgetown County.
The average response time was 10 minutes and 24 seconds in November before the location was changed. The months following saw a slight increase in response times, by the second.
The information obtained did not include specific locations or the reason for medical attention.
“These documents don’t give you a whole lot, and so my concerns are even greater because nothing on this page shows specific locations,” Andrews Mayor Frank McClary says.
Frank McClary says even if Medic 15 is responding only seconds later than before, it can be a matter of life or death.
“They can’t convince me that a service that you’ve moved in five miles out is going to have the same response time; I’m not gonna buy that,” McClary adds. “I don’t think this latest report does do anything in terms of giving us confidence that this is a smart move.”
Georgetown County’s Director of Emergency Services, Brandon Ellis, says the decision to move the services back in December was due to issues and repairs needed inside the building.
“We kept that ambulance closer to the town of Andrews than if we’d have moved it to our other alternative location, which was about twice as far away from the town of Andrews,” Ellis says.
He explains that some areas will see a slight uptick in response times, whereas other areas will see a decrease.
“We’ve tried to make the most equitable decision that we can make with the resources that we had while still providing the same level of care to the residents of the town of Andrews, as well as the remainder of that coverage area that Medic 15 is responsible for,” Ellis adds.
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