Video tribute to EMS response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita

On the 10th anniversary of two devastating hurricanes the American Ambulance Association honors the national EMS response and thanks providers


NEW ORLEANS — Medics, dispatchers and EMS leaders from Acadian Ambulance, AMR and New Orleans EMS remember their response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita in a video produced by the American Ambulance Association.  

EMS was a lifeline in areas devoid of basic utilities, medical resources, and even sufficient food. EMTs and paramedics evacuated survivors, provided medical care and transported supplies, in addition to providing a comforting presence to those left behind.

The August and September 2005 hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated over 93,000 square miles across 138 counties and parishes in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The storms caused more than $150 billion in damage and resulted in the deaths of more than 1,800 people. The rapid and effective mobilization of EMS stands out as an incredible accomplishment in disaster response and humanitarian relief.

Hurricane Katrina made landfall on Monday, August 29, 2005. By Tuesday morning the levees in New Orleans had collapsed. Later that day the American Ambulance Association (AAA) received the first of many requests for assistance from FEMA. Within hours of this first request, AAA members began to respond. All told, 148 ambulance services from 42 states participated in the response, sending more than 500 ambulances and 1,500 personnel to assist. AAA’s volunteer leadership and staff served as an information repository and allocation distributor for the initial deployment.

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