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American Medical Response (AMR) has activated its National Command Center (NATCOM) in Dallas, Texas, deployed hundreds of paramedics and EMTs, and sent ambulances, aircraft and rotorcraft in response to the federal government’s request for EMS deployment for Hurricane Florence.
As the nation’s largest provider of medical transportation and FEMA’s prime emergency medical service response provider, AMR has a national agreement with FEMA to provide ground ambulance, air ambulance, paratransit services and non-ambulance EMS personnel to supplement the federal and military response to a disaster, an act of terrorism or any other public health emergency.
“Responding to natural disasters and hurricanes the magnitude of Florence is what our teams and providers do very well,” said Ted Van Horne, AMR’s president and CEO. “We are proud to partner with numerous agencies to respond when our nation calls us to help. Our national scope allows us to garner appropriate personnel, vehicles, aircraft, logistics and supplies to respond quickly, often within 24 to 48 hours.”
To prepare for Hurricane Florence, AMR has already established three command centers, one in North Carolina, one in South Carolina and one in Virginia. AMR has orders from FEMA for hundreds of ambulances with paramedics and EMTs to operate as fixed-site care providers at medical shelters. The company is looking at opening a fourth command center option for the second wave of support.
AMR’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) activated NATCOM on Sept. 11 and is working with its own local operations as well as dozens of EMS providers in the country to deploy resources, including crews, vehicles and supplies for Hurricane Florence response efforts.
AMR operations from across the United States also deployed crews and ambulances along with additional medical supplies.
“We are fortunate to be able to send some of our local assets – including personnel and equipment – to assist the communities in the path of Hurricane Florence,” said Van Horne. “It is important to know that sending these resources does not affect our ability to provide timely medical response for all the communities we serve.”
AMR is the primary medical ground transportation leg of its parent company, Global Medical Response (GMR), Air Medical Group Holdings (AMGH) primarily comprises the air component of GMR. All of the AMGH companies – REACH, Med-Trans, Air Evac LifeTeam, AirMed International and Guardian – have responded with crews, aircraft and rotorcraft.
Van Horne said he anticipates the crews will be on a seven- to 14-day activation, but that can change as the situation changes. The crews will stay in the area as long as they are needed.
When the crews arrive at their assigned area, they will be working under the guidance of FEMA, state and local EMS agencies.