Global Medical Response (GMR) mobilized a second deployment of American Medical Response (AMR) crews and ambulances to New Jersey, in response to a FEMA request to help the federal government and local emergency personnel respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the company’s third major deployment in three weeks. On March 30 and April 9, GMR deployed hundreds of EMS crews and ambulances to New York City; on April 9 the company also sent crews and ambulances to New Jersey. All deployments are in response to FEMA’s request. Those crews are still assisting FDNY medics and firefighters in New York and state teams in New Jersey.
With the two deployments in NY and NJ, GMR has sent more than 1,600 caregivers and more than 500 ambulances. The deployments include a mix of GMR paramedics and EMTs as well as crews from other EMS providers around the country.
“The GMR emergency response program often brings in other EMS companies to send crews and ambulances for these deployments,” said GMR Chief Operating Officer Ted Van Horne. “We recognize that there is ambulance transport capacity around the country in areas not as severely impacted as in New York and New Jersey. We are very proud to bring together ambulance providers all across America to assist our fellow emergency services in these hard-hit locations.” Van Horne added that AMR also sent more logistics teams to provide additional support required by the added crews.
GMR’s Office of Emergency Management activated the company’s National Command Center (NATCOM) in Dallas on Jan. 28 to monitor the spread of the virus closely and work with state and federal agencies to deploy teams for screenings, transports and evacuations. GMR’s medical leaders are working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and departments of public health around the country.
GMR closely monitors all crews, including those from AMR and EMS network providers who are part of the deployment as well as GMR teams who remain in their home communities. Monitoring includes the following:
Evaluation of each crew member, which includes symptom and temperature checks every 12 hours
GMR’s online infectious disease screening platform (GMR’s MAST – Medical Assessment and Screening Tool)
24/7-staffed Nurse Navigation and Physician team to assess, screen and monitor employees who have been in contact with COVID-19 positive or presumptive patients
Phone calls and check-ins to GMR crews or personnel who have been quarantined or are self-isolating
GMR also deployed a mental wellness leader with the crews to assess, monitor and provide guidance on site.
Van Horne added that the deployments do not impact GMR’s or the other EMS providers’ ability to meet the needs of patients in home communities. GMR air and ground teams continue to provide emergency and non-emergency transports to tens of thousands of patients nationwide.
Deployed crews work under the guidance of FEMA, state and local governments when they arrive at their assigned areas.
AMR is the primary medical ground transportation division of parent company Global Medical Response. As the nation’s largest provider of ground medical transportation and FEMA’s prime emergency medical service response provider, AMR has a national agreement with FEMA to provide ground ambulance, air ambulance, paratransit services and non-ambulance EMS personnel to supplement the Federal and Military response to a disaster, an act of terrorism or any other public health emergency. Van Horne said teams prepare for emergency responses around the country with year-round training exercises, storing equipment and vehicles in strategic locations. This preparation enables the company to respond usually within 36-48 hours’ notice.
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