Friday, April 20, 2012
Midway Fire Rescue has been named the 2011 Emergency Medical System of the Year.
Midway had applied for the award several times, but never won.
“It’s particularly sweet when you do win it,” said Chief Doug Eggiman. “In the past we’ve talked the talk and this is walking the walk. It validates our pride.”
Two awards are given every year. Midway won in the small category, which is for systems that respond to less than 2,000 calls a year.
Midway responded to about 1,600 calls in 2011.
According to Eggiman, Midway had to submit an application explaining some of its program, why it should be considered, how it takes care of its people and residents and the innovative things its doing in the community.
A committee then selects two systems and the awards are handed out at the annual S.C. EMS Symposium, which was in Myrtle Beach this year.
“It’s not an easy award to get,” Eggiman said. “There’s a lot if good EMS systems in South Carolina. The competition is steep. There are a lot of people doing innovative things.”
Eggiman attributes a lot of Midway’s success with the support it gets from the community and the county.
“What we do, the award itself, it’s a community award,” he said. “If citizens didn’t support us and didn’t want a quality system, it would be hard to do what we do.”
Eggiman spoke to County Council about the award at its last meeting.
“We accepted this award not just on behalf of Midway but on behalf of all the citizens of Georgetown County,” Eggiman said.
“On behalf of this council and the citizens of the county, keep up the good work.” Council Chairman Johnny Morant told Eggiman.
Midway is designing a decal to put on all its ambulances and fire trucks to celebrate the award.
Two new trucks
Midway recently added two new fire trucks to its fleet: a “quint” and a pumper tanker.
The quint has a 75-foot ladder, a 500-gallon water tank and 800 feet of hose.
The pumper tanker has a 2,750-gallon water tank and 800 feet of hose.
“Pulling up on scene that’s a lot of water available immediately between the two,” Eggiman said.
The pumper truck has already been used on a couple of brush fires.
Both trucks have a stability system that helps prevent them from rolling over. If a driver takes a turn too sharply, the system automatically throttles the engine down.
It takes about nine months of planning before Midway orders a new truck. A committee of personnel from all levels comes up with about 120 pages of specifications.
“It is very, very detailed,” Eggiman said.
Everything must be decided on, from how many lights, what size and where they go, to the color of the seat belts.
After that process is over, Midway submits a request to County Council for approval and then the truck is ordered and paid for using money from the county’s “Capital Equipment Replacement Plan.”
The two new trucks were built by E-One in Florida.
Midway personnel made several trips to Florida to check on the progress of the assembly.
Once the trucks were completed they were driven to Pawleys Island and delivered to the Headquarters Station in Litchfield.
Two older trucks that used to be housed in Litchfield will now be moved to the DeBordieu station.
By Chris Sokoloski