River Hills, Lake Wylie EMS


Your non-profit, volunteer focused emergency medical service for the South Carolina communties of Bethel, Lake Wylie, and River Hills.


About Us

The history and formation of the River Hills Lake Wylie EMS is a story of community. The River Hills community was first started in the early 1970’s by Sea Pines Development based on their
models on Hilton Head Island. At the time the community began on the banks of Lake Wylie adjacent to Camp Thunderbird and the Buster Boyd Bridge, the Bethel community was
comprised of a few fulltime residents and river cabins that were weekend/summer places. After several serious medical calls requiring an ambulance which took 20-30 minutes to arrive on the scene, the residents of River Hills made a decision to investigate the possibility of starting an ambulance service for the local residents.


Late in 1977, preliminary meetings Were held at the River Hills Community Church and a decision to pursue the formation of an “Emergency Squad” was made. With the backing of the residents and the Lions Club, equipment was investigated and ultimately purchased, members of the fledgling group were trained as EMT’s and/or drivers and a location was planned for the storage of a new ambulance when it was received. With the arrival of the ambulance, stocking was begun and further training on the unit commenced. Since the building had not been constructed, the new ambulance was rotated between member’s homes. Finally, in early 1980 the training was completed, units were approved by DHEC and, with certificates in hand; River
Hills Emergency Squad was ready for its first emergency call.


Beginning July 1, 1980, the Squad began taking calls that were dispatched by the Security Force at the River Hills front gate. Our response area ranged from Allison Creek Bridge on Hands Mill Highway to Ridge Road/Highway 557 to the intersection of Oakridge Road with the North Carolina border. This response area has never changed since the inception of the Squad. Early in the history of the Squad, it was not unusual to go days between calls and the yearly
volume was extremely low. In 2011 that had grown to almost 1200 dispatches & responses for the year.


As we fast forward to 2012, we find that the entire Bethel/Lake Wylie/River Hills area has expanded dramatically in homes, residents, traffic and businesses. To keep up with the demand, we changed the name of the Squad to River Hills/Lake Wylie EMS to more accurately reflect the area that we serve and type of service we offer. We have also increased and replaced the older van type ambulance with 2 state of the art box type ambulances that are housed in a 2 bay building located close to the intersection of Charlotte Highway
and Heritage Drive. The building has also been increased in size to include 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a TV room, an office and a training room.  Dispatch by local police departments has changed to a County wide 911 system and to remain competitive, we now offer 24/7 coverage to the community with a Paramedic staffed ambulance that includes the capabilities of any other Paramedic unit. Lastly, the low volume of 1980 has increased to a dispatched volume of 1144 calls in 2011 and 2012 is already tracking to a call volume that will be equal to or greater than last year.