When you call 911 on a cellphone you can't control which emergency call center you might reach (Columbia Co, Richmond Co, Aiken Co, etc) so not a bad idea to go ahead and program the telephone number for the Edgefield County Sheriff's Department who has jurisdiction over FATS into your cellphone as a backup!
Edgefield County Sheriff's Department (803) 637-5337 Edgefield County Sheriff's Department/Amublance (803) 637-3149
Is the Big Rock/Tower parking lot (which I assume to be the North Trailhead) in Edgefield or McCormick County? The county line crosses Deep Step Road down near the turn off to go up the road to the parking lot. If it is in McCormick Co does it matter to the rescue people (I imagine it would to the Sheriff)?
Thanks for asking! Yes the northern trailhead supports Big Rock and Tower.
The dispatcher confirmed that the trail is partially in Edgefield and partially in McCormick Counties and they (Edgefield County Sheriff's Department) have and do respond to emergencies at both FATS trailheads.
I agree with you, when I looked at it yesterday I thought the same thing (my map was not as obvious as yours is) but she insisted that it is partially in Edgefield County and they HAVE and DO respond to emergencies out at the northern trailhead and the USFS has posted their emergency information there on our trailhead.
My name is Bobby I am the assistant chief of Westside Fire Dept in Edgefield county. I can tell you that we will most certainly respond to any emergency on either side of the county line if we are asked. If someone needs our help the politics of crossing county lines can be sorted out after everyone is back at home safe. For the record though it has never been an issue as far as I know. FYI the Merriwether fire dept covers most of the fats trail and we cover lick fork horns creek ect further towards edgefield. There have been so many emergencies that there is actually specialty rescue equipment in place in the county just for the many miles of bike trails.
Can you tell me if there is a better telephone number that people can put into their cellphones if they (or someone with them) are down and need help (911 has often given mixed results as not everyone knows where FATS is or even what county it is in)?
Is the Merriweather Fire Department dispatched out of the Edgefield County Office?