GMR Mobilizes Dozens of Crews, Ambulances and Paratransit Assets as Hurricane Laura Heads Toward TX


As part of American Medical Response's (AMR) FEMA contract, GMR is deploying several ground crews and medical transportation assets to help communities in the storm's path.
(DALLAS) — Global Medical Response (GMR) is deploying dozens of paramedics, EMTs, ambulances, paratransit teams and vehicles to Beaumont, Texas. This is in response to the federal government's request to AMR for EMS deployment for Hurricane Laura. Crews sent to the region will be monitored 24/7 and dispatched to hurricane-related emergencies and evacuations via GMR's National Command Center (NATCOM) in Dallas.

"We have been monitoring the tropical storms headed into the Gulf Coast for several days now and have been preparing to mobilize GMR resources to impacted areas," said Ted Van Horne, Chief Operating Officer of Global Medical Response. "Based on the models we are observing, Laura will strengthen into a category 4 hurricane before making landfall. All forecasts indicate that it will be an incredibly powerful storm that could cause widespread damage to many communities. GMR teams train and prepare to respond to catastrophic events such as this, and they are well-prepared to help affected communities in their time of need. Our partnering EMS agencies from throughout the United States are also ready to help respond to this request for aid." Van Horne added that the company's national scope allows them to secure caregivers and ambulances at a moment's notice, as well as needed supplies, support staff and even air medical teams.

GMR crews will be dispatched immediately upon arrival in Beaumont for patient transfers and evacuations. Requests for aid typically occur 24-48 hours ahead of a storm's forecasted landfall, because of time-sensitive operations and evacuations that must take place from regional and state healthcare facilities.

GMR operations from across the United States are also sending crews and ambulances, additional medical supplies and personal protective equipment. "We are fortunate to be able to not only send members of our local teams to provide aid but also call upon other operations in GMR's service areas that can swiftly mobilize teams," Van Horne said. “This situation has many complexities — the anticipated landfall and size of the storm and the impacts of COVID-19 on medical transports are all things we are considering and planning for. Thankfully, our teams have the support and resources necessary to ensure their safety and the safety of our patients and communities during this challenging time."

GMR's medical leaders are working closely with the Federal Government, the Centers for Disease Control and public health departments around the country. GMR closely monitors all crews, including those from AMR and EMS network providers who are part of the deployment as well as GMR teams who remain in their home communities. Monitoring includes the following:
  • Evaluation of each crew member, which includes symptom and temperature checks every 12 hours
  • GMR's online infectious disease screening platform (GMR's MAST – Medical Assessment and Screening Tool)
  • 24/7-staffed Nurse Navigation and physician team to assess, screen and monitor employees who have been in contact with COVID-19 positive or presumptive patients
  • Phone calls and check-ins to GMR crews or personnel who have been quarantined or are self-isolating
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 14-day activation, but that can change as the situation evolves. The crews will stay in the area as long as needed. When the teams arrive at their assigned area, they will be working under the guidance of FEMA, state and local EMS agencies.
As part of American Medical Response's (AMR) FEMA contract, GMR is mobilizing dozens of assets in response to Hurricane Laura. Pictured is one of two Operational Support Units getting ready to be sent to south Texas.