AMR deployed to New York metro area on FEMA request
Hundreds of AMR personnel and ambulances have been sent to the greater New York area, which has become the epicenter of the U.S. COVID-19 crisis
By Laura French
DALLAS — Global Medical Response (GMR) has deployed American Medical Response (AMR) crews and ambulances in response to a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) request to provide ambulances and EMS personnel to the greater New York area.
The company mobilized incident command teams Saturday to establish a forward operating base in New York and said in a news release Monday that all deployed teams and vehicles are already in the area. GMR is also poised to send air evacuation teams if they are requested.
“We will do whatever we can to help decompress the system in New York and help the FDNY firefighters and medics on the front line,” said GMR Chief Operating Officer Ted Van Horne. “This pandemic is unprecedented and devastating communities across our country. Our crews prepare for these healthcare emergencies year-round. Now is the time to come together to help the areas most affected.”
AMR has also contracted other EMS providers to assist with its deployment and to support the nation’s COVID-19 pandemic response. The deployed crews will work under the guidance of FEMA and state and local agencies, and will remain in the area for as long as they are needed, according to GMR.
GMR’s National Command Center (NATCOM) in Dallas will remotely monitor deployed crews and can dispatch onsite crews to respond to virus-related emergencies and evacuations. The company also said that all AMR personnel, whether on deployment to New York or remaining in home operations, are taking extensive precautions and using GMR’s online infectious disease screening platform MAST (Medical Assessment and Screening Tool) and its Nurse Navigation and Physician team to assess employees who have been in contact with COVID-19 positive or presumptive patients.
“We want to ensure our teams have access to care at any time during this deployment as well as when they are in their home operations responding to 911 calls,” Van Horne said. “We have to give them tools and access to nurses and physicians who can answer their calls at any time of day.”
At GMR’s NATCOM, which was activated on Jan. 28, the company’s Office of Emergency Management has been monitoring the spread of the virus closely while working with other state and federal agencies to deploy teams for screenings, transports and evacuations, according to the GMR news release. GMR’s medical leaders have also worked closely with the CDC, WHO and departments of public health around the country, and AMR teams were among the first to respond in King County, Wash., and Los Angeles County, Calif., when the initial instances occurred in the United States.
AMR is FEMA’s primary emergency medical service response provider and has a national agreement with FEMA to provide ground ambulance, air ambulance, paratransit services and non-ambulance EMS personnel to supplement federal and military response to a disaster, act of terrorism or other public health emergency.