DANIEL ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – A new medical unit is patrolling Daniel Island designed to better respond to people experiencing a medical emergency.

“We’ve recently added what we call a ‘QRV,’ or a Quick Response Vehicle,” explained Berkeley County EMS Chief Michael Shirey.

The QRV includes everything you would find in an ambulance, including a paramedic. In fact, three paramedics were hired to put the vehicle in service.

“It serves Daniel Island and the surrounding communities, and the purpose is to put a paramedic on scene faster,” Shirey said.

The only thing the QRV cannot do is take a patient to the hospital. But there is an ambulance that is stationed in the Daniel Island area that will respond when warranted. It also allows the QRV to respond to additional calls when the ambulance is in use.

“Often when a unit that is stationed on Daniel Island is already on a call, a second call for service comes in. We have to respond the unit from another location from another community,” he explained.

That can mean a long wait time for those who need immediate help.

“That response time could be anywhere from 15 to 29 minutes,” Shirey noted.

But this new unit will already be in the area to provide help to those in need.

“It is critical that we have this quick response vehicle that’s available to respond to that second call until that transport vehicle can get there,” said Berkeley County Councilman Josh Whitley.

And since the QRV can’t transport, that means there will always be a paramedic with equipment in the Daniel Island area.

“We’ve had response times in the 15-minute range for cardiac issues. It is critical that we get to patients as fast as possible,” said Shirey.

It also means better responses in other areas of the county.

“Adding this unit here may decrease the need to pull a unit from another part of the county that can respond to calls in Goose Creek and so forth, so it’s just good for the system, systemwide.”

Berkeley County still needs additional paramedics, however. They increased salaries for that job a few months ago.