Jasper County Fire/EMS working to improve response, safety for COVID-19


While the focus of much of the Lowcountry has been on Beaufort county, the beaches and the business on Hilton Head Island.

Jasper County has been battling COVID-19 as well, with some success.

There have only been two documented cases of COVID-19 in the county, but officials say they aren’t assuming those will be the last they see during this pandemic.

Everyone from the firefighters to the 911 operators are working to understand and battle this virus.

Operators are asking pre-screening questions so first responders know what they are walking into with every case. What equipment they may need at every call.

Officials are asking people to be patient with those first responders on scene as well, who may be asking even more, and possibly the same questions as they were asked previously.

Those firefighters just got more necessary supplies from the national strategic stockpile this week which were distributed to agencies in the County.

The department is still waiting on a second shipment they ordered weeks ago.

The biggest concern they may have is the “travel thru” population.

Those are the people who pass through the restaurants and gas station off I-95.

Emergency officials are concerned because no one knows who they are, where they have been and if they could be COVID-19 carriers when they stop in Jasper County.

“We have to be even more vigilant on asking questions on finding out the histories of the patient either through the 911 call screening or when we arrive on the scene for the first initial assessment,” said Frank Edwards, Jasper County Emergency Services Director. “We are going to play it as worst-case so we may put on more personal protective equipment on until we get that assessment of the patient as well.”

Jasper County believes they may actually benefit from being such a rural county.

They have a lot more folks who aren’t used to going to the grocery store on a regular basis and are naturally social distancing because of their location.

“They are not close by other neighbors,” said Edwards. “Not by the stores. They don’t have the tendency to want to go every day. That is a help.”

Edwards says first responders continue to learn more about how to deal with this pandemic every day and will improve safety and techniques with each call.

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