Huron Valley Ambulance (HVA), along with several other Michigan EMS agencies, has been deployed by FEMA to provide aid and response in the area impacted by Hurricane Florence.
HVA is part of a national Emergency Response team contracted through American Medical Response (AMR), a national EMS agency that operates in many states, including Michigan. When areas in the country declare a state of emergency requiring FEMA involvement, AMR coordinates extra resources such as EMS support to aid local public safety teams.
When HVA received the Hurricane Florence deployment notice, our National Response Team was activated. For this mission, the team consists of a six-person crew of paramedics and EMTs, two ambulances, and a mobility transportation vehicle.
Chief Operating Officer, Dirk Borton shares, “We have a National Response team we keep prepared and ready to go for events like this. The team trains for deployments and when we receive a notification of possible response, team members volunteer to be part of that mission.” The team responding to Hurricane Florence has committed to a minimum of two weeks and is equipped with extra medical supplies, tactical rescue gear, and personal items like cots, extra uniforms and a supply of groceries. “The team is well supplied until they reach the FEMA staging area,” states Borton.
This is the third activation for the HVA Response Team. Past deployments have included responses to Category 5 Hurricanes Rita and Katrina in the late summer of 2005.
When the response team arrives at their destination, they could join other EMS agencies in an Emergency Response Team staging area where they will be sent on missions that include transferring patients out of the storm area as well as backing up local EMS on emergency 9-1-1 calls as the storm intensifies. “Hospitals in the projected path are at risk of flooding,” shared Borton, “if needed, the team will help transport patients to a safer area as a precaution. Once the storm hits, the missions tend to focus on emergency 9-1-1 calls.”
Borton expresses that HVA EMTs and Paramedics are more than willing to join deployments and he commends their sacrifice. “Responding to a national emergency is an undertaking that involves a lot of commitment, our crews are missing time with their families and are putting their own needs aside to provide aid to those impacted by the storm. We applaud their dedication.”
Founded in 1981, Huron Valley Ambulance is a nationally accredited, nonprofit EMS organization. HVA provides paramedic emergency and non-emergency ambulance services to all of Washtenaw County and parts of Wayne and Oakland counties. HVA operates 65 ambulances out of its headquarters in Ann Arbor and Plymouth Township.