DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Darlington County Sheriff's Office deputies are driving door to door to help medical personnel stranded by snow get to their place of work.
Sheriff Wayne Byrd of the Darlington County Sheriff's Office says it is critical for doctors, nurses and other medical workers to be able to do their jobs.
"They're in positions where they can't shut down because of weather," the sheriff said. A large number of the secondary roads in the county have not been plowed and are covered in slush and sometimes ice.
Many of the people deputies pick up have long driveways that are nearly impossible to navigate with two-wheel drive. Those that are stuck or do not feel safe behind the wheel have been calling central dispatch to hitch a ride.
"Part of the job as a sheriff's deputy is serving the public, and sometimes that means taking somebody to and from work," added Sheriff Byrd.
The sheriff's office tries to let people in the health field know ahead of time they will help out if they are unable to drive to work. They arrange the pick-ups and drop offs in groups, and schedule them based the shifts of the employees.
"We have special needs people here that we have to have someone here to help take care of them," Daisy Allen explains. She is the residential manager at the Saleeby Development Center that cares for patients with mental illness.
Allen said her supervisors called the sheriff's office to arrange for her to be picked up early this morning. "It was really great, really thoughtful of them," she said.
Sheriff Byrd says the deputies often try to assist central personnel when weather conditions make it difficult to get around.
"You'd be hard pressed to find other places that do offer that type of service, especially when you have weather situations like we have here."