With Hurricane Florence starting to hit US shores, the American Medical Response (AMR) has activated its National Command Centre (NATCOM) in Dallas, Texas. It has responded to the federal government’s call for aid, deploying hundreds of paramedics and EMTs, as well as aircraft, rotorcraft and ground ambulances.
The storm is currently heading towards land at winds of 90 mph (150 km/h) and will hit North and South Carolina. More than a million residents have been given evacuation warnings. Some areas are due to receive eight months of rain in just two to three days, and some areas have already seen a foot of rain.
In preparation for the hurricane, AMR has opened centres in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The Texas base will be utilised as an option for the second wave of support.
“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.”
Although wind speeds for the storm are dropping, it is the high volume of rainfall that poses the biggest danger to the communities affected. Energy companies predict that around three million households and businesses could be left without power in the coming days.
“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.”