BEAUFORT, SC (WSAV) – The Burton Fire District (BFD) announced Monday they have seen a 33% increase in motor vehicle collisions so far this year and an increase in the number of injuries from those collisions.
According to Burton Fire, fire officials continuously analyze data and statistics in order to ensure the right services are provided to the community.
It’s a task that’s part of the BFD’s Community Risk Reduction program.
Burton Fire says they are more concerned with the number of injuries resulting from the collisions in 2021.
From January 1st through February 8th in 2020, Burton Fire says there were 15 vehicle collisions, 4 involved injuries (27%), with no occupants trapped.
Within that same date range in 2021, Burton Fire says there were 20 vehicle collisions (+33%), 13 involved injuries (65%), and one trapped occupant.
“Today’s fire service is dynamic,” stated Burton Fire Chief Harry Rountree, “Where we once responded primarily to fires, we now have to be prepared to respond to anything, and we cannot do so blindly.”
“So, we watch our numbers and statistics, and match those with our services to see if we need to adjust the services we are providing, and also what we need to start planning for,” added Rountree.
The Burton Fire District responded to 2834 emergencies in 2020; 211 were for motor vehicle collisions, 53% involved injuries, and firefighters rescued occupants in four of those collisions.
The fire district recently graduated new paramedics and advanced EMTs. Officials say the additions will increase BFD’s emergency medical capability on scene.
Officials add the BFD continues to present their Choices program to area driver education classes to teach young drivers about the importance of seatbelts and the dangers of impaired and distracted driving.
Burton Fire also posts reports of motor vehicle collisions on their social media to keep the community aware.