Global Medical Response crews have been responding to two strong earthquakes and more than 1,500 aftershocks in the Southern California region. As of Saturday morning, GMR ground operations from San Bernardino County stationed four advanced life support (ALS) units and a Strike Team leader in Ridgecrest, the California city hardest hit by the two earthquakes. The ALS units are responding to 911 calls in the urban areas, and the Strike Team Leader has been integrated into the local Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Operations. The crews have been providing additional support to the triage area in front of the emergency room, which is closed due to structural damage.
On Thursday, GMR teams responded to emergency calls related to the first earthquake. American Medical Response (AMR) sent ground crews from nearby operations to evacuate a hospital in Ridgecrest when the hospital started experiencing gas leaks. REACH Air Medical Services also dispatched rotor wing craft related to the evacuation.
“This is a serious situation for the residents affected by these two powerful earthquakes and the constant aftershocks,” said Global Medical Response Chief Operating Officer Ted Van Horne. “We are working closely with local EMS, offering our support and resources.”
“During emergencies of this magnitude, with extended time frames and in a small community like Ridgecrest, it is critical to send backup crews to allow the local teams to get much-needed rest. This community needs us, and all our regional teams are on call and ready to provide support.”
In addition to AMR’s nearby ground operations, REACH currently has fixed wing aircraft and rotor wing craft available for immediate response. Van Horne said that the company is also prepared to send additional resources to the area through its Office of Emergency Management (OEM). OEM teams have been monitoring 24/7 since the initial quake and providing hourly updates to air and ground leaders. OEM’s emergency response teams, operational support units, emergency response units as well as the company’s extensive fleet in nearby states and across the country are ready to deploy as needed.
Van Horne added that the company’s air and ground operations continue to remain fully operational and ready to provide aid in the region. AMR provides ground medical services and REACH Air Medical Services provides air medical services in the area.
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