Horry County, SC – On March 29th, an unknown Surfside Beach town official reported the Surfside Beach Fire Department to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, citing concerns stemming from a medical call dating back to January 2015. The cause of their concern: a junior member preforming CPR on a patient.
“The focus of the investigation is on whether Surfside Beach Fire Department, Horry County Fire and Rescue, and their personnel allowed care, or provided care, above their level of certification.” said Adrianna Bradley of DHEC.
That investigation was concluded on Monday, and it was determined that Surfside Beach Fire Department, and Horry County Fire Rescue (who houses an ambulance inside Surfside Beach’s firehouse) did not provide care above their level of certification. It was determined that the junior firefighter who preformed CPR had a valid CPR certification. Its also worth noting that CPR is a skill that is often instructed to citizens by dispatchers over the phone, with absolutely no prior training. Another fact that is often misunderstood by people outside the first responder community is that CPR is only preformed to a patient who is not breathing, and without a pulse, or legally dead. Many of the state’s first responders have taken to social media to share their frustrations with this investigation, several comparing it to a “witch hunt.”
“The investigation found that the junior firefighter who performed CPR on the patient had responded with an on-duty crew on a Surfside Beach Fire Department apparatus and had a valid CPR card,” Adrianna Bradley of DHEC stated.
The patient from that call was not successfully revived.
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