Agencies in Georgetown and Horry counties that are part of the local Maritime Emergency Response Team (MERT) participated in training exercises on Winyah Bay today. Hosted by the Coast Guard's Georgetown station, the training brought together emergency response and law enforcement officers from both counties to practice water rescue and search procedures. Members of the Coast Guard worked with representatives of other agencies to help them practice how to begin operations if they are the first to arrive on the scene during a water rescue.
"The idea is to teach them what we do when we arrive, and if they get there first, they can get things started while we're on the way. That saves us time and can lead to a faster response and could help save a life," said Travis Park, Officer in Charge at the Coast Guard's Georgetown Station.
While other agencies typically respond to water rescues in their jurisdictions and the surrounding area, the Coast Guard is the expert agency for incidents on the water.
The MERT meets monthly and participates in this type of training twice a year. Among the participating agencies today were the Coast Guard, Georgetown County Emergency Management, Midway Fire Rescue, Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire Rescue, the City of Georgetown and the Horry County Police Department.
Article By: Georgetown County S.C.