EMS Water Rescue
The New Hanover Regional EMS Beach Response program is designed to help decrease the response times to the remote beach locations of Pleasure Island. This program consists of paramedics trained in the Florida Public Safety Phase 1 Coastal Water Rescue and Victim Extrication. The program is seasonal, to correspond with the local tourist season, May through September. Each team member participates in annual training and competencies to keep their skills up-to-date. Beach response team members assess daily rip current threats, make patrols of unguarded beach strands, and work closely with beach lifeguards and other emergency services. The service's primary function is to supplement the lifeguards that protect the beaches, but can perform the tasks of lifeguards when necessary.
The Quick Response Medic, QRM, also provides ALS first response to Pleasure Island and as needed in New Hanover County. In 2005, Beach Response QRM responded to 206 calls, 80 of those calls were for drowning or water related emergencies. In addition to the QRM stationed at the Kure Beach Fire Department, all transport units that are in close proximity to the ocean are staffed with at least one water rescue trained paramedic.