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Global Medical Response (GMR) has pledged to provide $1 million in relief aid to support the Bahamas emergency medical needs and infrastructure after Category 5 Hurricane Dorian devastated much of the country this week. The company will immediately send $250,000 to the Red Cross for Bahamian aid and is sending ambulances and equipment that will be donated to local authorities.
GMR also established a communications and coordination center for air medical operations in Nassau and has positioned two Airbus Super Pumas (H225 and AS332 L1), which are heavy lift air ambulances, and logistics support in South Florida for sustained EMS support operations.
“With widespread reports of flooding in hospitals and clinics, access to medical care is a considerable challenge for Bahamians,” said Ted Van Horne, chief operating officer of GMR. “Because of our experience planning for and providing responses to natural disasters, we know it is critical to get medical supplies and establish a system for emergency communications technology.”
GMR’s primary ground medical transportation company, American Medical Response (AMR), provides emergency and non-emergency ambulance service in Miami-Dade County and has a 60-year history of service to the community. With GMR’s significant air and ground medical transportation operations in nearby Florida, the company was able to deliver medical resources immediately.
GMR Relief Logistics:
- GMR donated one-half ton of emergency medical supplies on the first flight on Sept. 6;
- The Airbus H225 helicopter took off for Freeport Bahamas with emergency medical relief supplies on Sept. 6 at approximately 12:30 local time; and
- Carlos A. Gimenez, Mayor of Miami-Dade Florida and several local government officials, will be traveling with the Puma crew so he can meet Miami-Dade search-and-rescue teams already onsite.
GMR CEO Randy Owen said the company’s leadership team made the decision to send aid quickly after seeing the heartbreaking devastation in the country. “We take our everyday mission of providing care to the world at a moment’s notice seriously. The people in the Bahamas are dealing with an unprecedented catastrophe and they need help now.” He added that GMR teams continue to work with local officials, relief agencies and international organizations.
Owen also said that GMR has been responding to the government’s request for Hurricane Dorian support in the United States. On Aug. 30, GMR activated its AMR National Command Center (NATCOM) in Dallas and deployed nearly 1,800 ground and air paramedics and EMTs, hundreds of ambulances, 10 fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft and dozens of paratransit teams and vehicles. This was in response to FEMA’s request to AMR for EMS deployment for Hurricane Dorian. GMR still has air and ground assets positioned in South Carolina.
Throughout the deployment, NATCOM staff remotely monitored crews sent to the region, dispatched onsite crews to respond to hurricane-related emergencies and evacuations, and closely monitored crews in the affected disaster areas 24-7. As the nation’s largest provider of ground 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.