Ambulances dispatched to Mississippi under the FEMA contract

JACKSON, miss. (WLBT) – Resources sent to Mississippi in response to Hurricane Ida include ambulances and the state is working to see if they can stay for other uses.

Ambulances with license plates from all over the country – New York, New Jersey, Ohio – line up and wait at the Jackson fairgrounds.

“This is a coordinated effort,” said Malary White, director of foreign affairs for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. “Fortunately for FEMA and HHS for bringing these ambulances here in Mississippi to aid in the Hurricane Ida response.”

You might be thinking, “Why Mississippi? We haven’t had any hospital evacuations here. “

So what could these crews do?

This is why we reached out to American Medical Response, which holds the FEMA contract, to find out.

“Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s specific to the hurricane, but it’s obviously increasing in volume across the state,” said Phillip Mongeau, AMR operations chief at the National Command Center. “So we’re here to support these local jurisdictions in the state wherever we can within this area of ​​medical transportation.”

They arrived on Monday evening but haven’t received a call yet. But let’s say the other consideration with hurricanes is that they aren’t always needed in the first 24-36 hours.

“Just the deterioration over time,” remarked Mongeau. “So maybe the first effects weren’t terrible. But when these hospitals are sitting there … facilities, maybe sitting without power for long periods of time, or they lose power due to floods, or the floods don’t decrease, then they face longer-term challenges. “

Mississippi is still processing what the needs might be. But make a note of:

“Another thing we’re waiting for is that we, MEMA and the Department of Health, made a request from FEMA and HHS for paramedics and ambulances for the COVID-19 mission ahead of Hurricane Ida,” Malary said White. “Now we understand and know that Louisiana requires a lot of resources. We ask that we can repurpose some of these ambulances for the COVID-19 mission if necessary. But if they’re needed in Louisiana, send them to Louisiana. “

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