LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Wherever the need was in this recent hurricane season, local Las Vegas first responders were there to help. American Medical Response (AMR), who holds emergency medical service franchises with both Clark County and the City of Las Vegas also holds a national contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist in disaster situations like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Nearly 100 patients were transported and treated in Texas, while nearly 150 patients were transported and treated in Florida.
During a disaster situation, local emergency services are stretched thin. AMR professionals bring Advanced Life Support and Critical Care skills to communities that face an intense uptick in demand during these times.
Teams from AMR began travelling to Houston, Texas on August 25, 2017, driving eight ambulances almost 20 hours and more than 1,200 miles to help those in need. During that time, AMR helped evacuate patients from local nursing homes in the disaster area and provided standby medical services to those sheltering at both the George R. Brown Convention Center and NRG Center in Houston.
Paramedic Lester Hernandez, who was deployed to Texas, said, “The AMR team was amazed by the positive response and compassion of Houston residents. We saw lines full of volunteers at the shelters all there to help their neighbors. Being part of an effort like this is worth it and AMR is proud to be a part of it,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez encountered a stray puppy who needed a home. To help, Hernandez brought the 8-month Collie mix home to Las Vegas. The dog, who has been named “Houston,” even rode in the front seat of the ambulance during the trip.
AMR also assisted the Hardin County Volunteer Fire Service deal with the increased demand in 911 calls in Kountze, Saratoga, Sour Lake, and Silsbee, Texas. Many of the AMR paramedics responding have previous experience in disaster response and have deployed to previous storms like Hurricane Katrina, Sandy and Ike in recent years. The team drove more than 6,000 miles from start to finish of the deployment. The Las Vegas based AMR team of paramedics were deployed to Florida on September 10 to help victims of Hurrican Irma. They returned via flights on September 13.