Emergency responders kick into high gear as Spring Harley Rally revs up

Emergency responders kicking into high gear for Spring Harley Rally (Eddie Kadhim, WPDE)

The Spring Harley Rally is revving up this weekend, and first responders are preparing for a busy couple of days.

Alex Nieman is a firefighter and EMT for Murrells Inlet Garden City Fire Rescue. He works out of the station on Highway 17 Business.

"It's really interesting to be at this station especially because we get to see the bike crowds come through," said Nieman. "We all love helping people and being there to help get the accidents cleaned up so everyone can have a good time and enjoy their weekend."

When seconds are crucial, Nieman says knowing the fastest route can save lives.

"We have secondary routes that we can take,” said Nieman. “I mean, usually for certain calls, we'll come down 17 there, but we know the roads and back roads so we can get around relatively quickly, so it really doesn't slow us down too much, but it is difficult to get up into the bike crowd, if we have to get there, due to the traffic."

Russell Hubbard, another firefighter EMT for Murrells Inlet Garden City Fire Rescue, is working the Spring Harley Rally for the first time.

"The amount of people in such a small area, it just makes it kind of hard to move around and get the job done efficiently," said Hubbard. "Having an idea of the back ways to get around down here, it helps and makes things easier."

Stations also bring in extra help to deal with the increase in calls.

"This station does not have an ambulance but, at night time during bike week, we do up staff with our EMS supervisor--he goes out as a first responder to help keep the engines out of the bike crowd," said Nieman. "He goes out in his pickup truck to be a first responder to get on scene quickly."

Both men say it’s been relatively quiet so far, but the final Friday and Saturday of the rally have historically been the busiest part of the rally.

The Spring Harley Rally ends Sunday night.

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