An EmergyCare team has departed for New Jersey to aid in hurricane relief efforts.
According to an EmergyCare press release, four employees traveled from Erie around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to aid in recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The Pennsylvania 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 p.m. yesterday.
The four person crew has been assigned to the Atlantic City, N.J., 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 two paramedics and two EMTs will rotate 12-hour shifts. They expect to be gone three to five days.
Strike team members paramedic Jill Anderson, paramedic Randy Hettenbaugh of Warren, 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.
EmergyCare is the largest nonprofit ambulance service in Pennsylvania providing comprehensive pre-hospital and medical transportation services for the half-million residents in its seven county service area. In addition to emergency and ambulance response, services include non-emergency wheelchair and medical taxi transport, community ambulance stand-by and emergency air medical services with lifters helicopter.