Oct. 31 (Erie, PA) - On Tuesday, October 30 around 2:30 p.m. four EmergyCare employees departed from Erie, heading to New Jersey to aid in recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
The PA Department of Health, Bureau of EMS, put the state's strike teams on standby last Friday in anticipation of the historic storm's devastating effects. Strike teams are groups of emergency medical personnel who are deployed to disaster sites to assist with mass injury incidents. EmergyCare's strike team was activated around 2:00 p.m. yesterday.
The four person crew has been assigned to the Atlantic City, New Jersey area to help respond to 911 calls, perform search and rescue duties and assist with shelter and evacuation efforts. EmergyCare's team is traveling in one ambulance equipped to provide advanced life support care. The 2 paramedics and 2 EMTs will rotate 12 hour shifts. They expect to be gone 3-5 days.
Strike team members paramedic Jill Anderson, paramedic Randy Hettenbaugh, EMT Theta Smith and EMT Joe Horneman have experience dealing with similar circumstances. The team spent four days in New Jersey in August 2011 providing aid to those affected by Hurricane Irene.