Global Medical Response Mobilizes Nearly 1,000 Crews, Dozens of Ground and Air Assets as Hurricane Dorian Heads Towards Florida


08.30.2019

As part of American Medical Response’s (AMR) FEMA contract, GMR is deploying hundreds of ground crews and medical transportation assets to help communities in the path of the storm; company has also staged more than 80 air crew and support teams and 10 helicopters to be ready to respond if needed.

AMR Florida teams evacuating local hospitals

(Dallas, Texas) — Global Medical Response (GMR) activated the AMR National Command Center (NATCOM) in Dallas and is deploying nearly one thousand paramedics and EMTs, hundreds of ambulances and dozens of paratransit teams and vehicles. This is in response to the federal government’s request to AMR for EMS deployment for Hurricane Dorian. GMR also has more than 80 air crew and support staff and 10 helicopters from its Air Evac Lifeteam and Med-Trans companies prepared to deploy if the government needs them to evacuate patients in the area. Throughout the deployment, NATCOM staff remotely monitor crews who have been sent to the region, dispatch onsite crews to respond to hurricane-related emergencies and evacuations, and closely monitor crews in the affected disaster areas 24/7. 

“We’ve been monitoring the storm for days in preparation to send resources to help the affected areas,” said Ted Van Horne, Chief Operating Officer of Global Medical Response. “The models for Hurricane Dorian suggest this storm could wreak incredible damage with hundreds of thousands of people affected. Preparing for and responding to catastrophic hurricanes like Dorian is what our teams and providers do very well. We partner with numerous EMS agencies to respond when our nation calls us in to help.” He added that the company’s national scope allows AMR to secure whatever is needed, including appropriate personnel, vehicles, aircraft, logistics and supplies to respond quickly. 

In addition to the national response, GMR teams also mobilize quickly to conduct pre-landfall preparations and evacuations in areas in the path of the hurricane. AMR’s Florida teams have been evacuating hospitals this week prior to Hurricane Dorian making landfall, according to AMR Southeast Region President Erik Rohde. “AMR Florida operations have deployed 150 ambulances and facility liaisons to assist healthcare and hospice partners in the South Florida region. These are vulnerable populations of people who need our help, and we want to ensure smooth, safe and efficient transfers to safer destinations before the hurricane hits.” He added that the local operations have involved their network non-medical providers to assist with non-medical needs. 

Van Horne explained that the national and local request for help often occurs within 24-48 hours in advance of a storm because time is critical during disasters. “This hurricane has already gained a great deal of strength and it still has a way to go. We can quickly move in to start helping people at a moment’s notice,” he added.

GMR operations from across the United States are also sending crews and ambulances along with additional medical supplies. “We are fortunate to be able to send some of our own local teams and assets – including personnel, fleet and equipment – to assist the communities in the path of Hurricane Dorian,” 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. We continue operating in all our communities as we also pivot to help communities affected by the disaster.”

Incident Command teams have been mobilized to establish a forward operating base (FOB) in Tallahassee, Fla. At this point, all deployed teams and vehicles are headed to the FOB. If air teams are requested, their FOB will be established in a separate location. 

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. 

Van Horne said the crews are on a 7-day activation, but that can change as the situation evolves. The crews will stay in the area as long as needed. When the crews arrive at their assigned area, they will be working under the guidance of FEMA, state and local EMS agencies.
 

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