Rescuers deploy to Hurricane Laura impact areas

Strike teams, search and rescue crews, aircraft and convoys of ambulances headed to the Gulf Coast area before and in the aftermath of the Category 4 storm


By Laura French

Hurricane Laura struck the Gulf Coast early Thursday morning, leaving a path of devastation and debris.

The Category 4 hurricane caused a storm surge that could reach up to 40 miles inland, left approximately 700,000 homes and buildings without power and killed at least two people, according to the Associated Press

Laura weakened to a tropical storm about 11 hours after landfall.

Dozens of strike teams, search and rescue crews, ambulance buses and aircraft have been deployed the area to before and after landfall to assist with evacuations and rescue efforts.

Video Thursday morning showed a convoy of 100 ambulances and rescue vehicles headed to Louisiana. 

The Texas Emergency Medical Task Force rostered 10 ambulance strike teams, three ambulance buses and an ambulance staging management team in preparation for the storm. Strike teams were headed to impact areas to assist in the storm's aftermath Thursday morning. 

Fire crews and engines were also deployed through the Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid system.

 

Texans helping Texans! Last night, as part of a Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System (TIFMAS) deployment, the Allen...

Posted by Allen Fire Department on Thursday, August 27, 2020

Dozens of American Medical Response EMS providers and vehicles were deployed Wednesday on a FEMA request to prepare for the storm. 

National Urban Search & Rescue Response System task forces from all across the country were also deployed by FEMA. Task forces consisting of rescue apparatus, search and rescue dogs and hundreds of personnel headed to the impact areas Wednesday and overnight to assist. 

Strike teams equipped with ambulance buses also assisted in evacuations before the storm made landfall. 

Acadian Ambulance in Lafayette, Louisiana sent two ambulance buses, each with the capacity to transport 20 patients, to Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana to help evacuate nearly 500 people from facilities and private homes. Acadian has a total of 694 units ready to respond, the agency said on Twitter, as well as 13 aircraft on standby to respond when post-storm conditions allow it. 

The Flower Mound Fire Department in Texas also deployed a strike team and ambulance buses to Southeast Texas to perform evacuations and prepare for the storm's impact. The department evacuated 19 residents from a nursing facility on Tuesday. 

UMC EMS in Lubbock, Texas has deployed its ambulance bus and two of its paramedics will also serve on the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force (EMTF) Region 1 strike team.

 

At 23:23:00 hours, EMTF-1 deployed the AMBUS (multi-patient vehicle) to Beaumont,TX ahead of the anticipated Hurricane...

Posted by UMC EMS on Monday, August 24, 2020
 

Along with our AMBUS being deployed we also have two employees serving on an EMTF-1 AST (ambulance strike team). The AST...

Posted by UMC EMS on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Additionally, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has mobilized the National Guard to help, and the Department of Wildlife has staged boats for water rescues, according to the Associated Press. 

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