A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky sending Ambulance Strike Team to Florida to provide emergency hurricane assistance

Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) is assisting in another emergency services team deployment through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

The Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services (KBEMS) will deploy an Ambulance Strike Team to Florida Monday to provide emergency assistance with Hurricane Irma.

The ambulance strike team, which consists of 30 members, six ambulances and a six-wheel ATV ambulance, left early this morning for a seven-day deployment. The team consists of members from Independence, Somerset, Boyd Co., Lyon Co., Livingston Co., Shelby Co., KY Fire Commission, and the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services.

KBEMS brings lifesaving, emergency medical care to the Commonwealth by certifying first responders and emergency medical technicians. Additionally, it provides licenses to paramedics and ambulance services, and establishes standards for the education and training of emergency medical services personnel.

Michael Poynter, director of KBEMS, stated “As first responders, our first and foremost goal is to save lives. We are very proud to bring together this strike team and assist with Hurricane Irma operations during Florida’s time of need.”

On Sunday, KYEM officials received a request from Florida asking for assistance with ambulance services. The requests are coordinated and authorized through EMAC, which is a mutual aid agreement between states and territories in the United States. It enables states to share resources during natural and man-made disasters. Under EMAC agreements, the requesting state reimburses all associated costs incurred by the provider state. KYEM is the managing authority for deployment of all state teams and assets.

KYEM officials continue to monitor Hurricane Irma after it made landfall on Sunday. Michael E. Dossett, director of KYEM stated, “We continue to work diligently to deploy emergency services first responder teams to our sister states in need, following Hurricane Harvey and now Hurricane Irma. Thanks to our KBEMS partners for their deployment to Florida where the need is immediate for life safety medical response teams.”

The storm will still be affecting Florida, Georgia and Alabama for a few more days, which will impact all major corridors: I-10, I-75 and I-95. Florida Emergency Management reminds residents to use caution and check road status before returning home. Use http://FL511.com for road information and check county government or emergency webpages to see if it is safe before returning to your home.

Additional information about KYEM can be found at www.kyem.ky.gov.

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