In response to requests for evacuations from hospitals and nursing facilities, Acadian has transported approximately 150 patients as of 6 p.m. Monday. The majority of the patients were transported from the New Orleans, Houma and Raceland areas to facilities in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Opelousas and Plaquemine.
Acadian Ambulance activated its Evacuation Response Operations Center (EROC) on Sunday and began preparations for the evacuations starting early Monday morning. EROC consists of a specialized team of operations and support staff dedicated to coordinating the evacuation of health care facilities.
“Acadian activated additional ambulance personnel and support staff to handle the evacuation requests, including ambulances and bus transport vehicles from their Southeast Texas region. Additional medics are standing by and will be used on an as-needed basis”, said Jerry Romero, senior vice president of operations.
In addition to the evacuations, Acadian continued to prepare for the storm’s approach and aftermath by adding fuel station depots Gretna and Thibodaux where power outages are expected and an emergency generator to Air Med VI, stationed in New Orleans. As part of Acadian’s hurricane preparedness procedures, tests were completed onall support systems, communications circuits, and additional emergency generators for the communication center and radio towers to ensureoperational efficiency.
During hurricane season, the benefits of the extensive resources Acadian Ambulance has available becomes most evident and is a testament to Acadian’s ability to successfully coordinate and execute massive emergency operations. This was never more apparent than when Acadian evacuated more than 2000 patients from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
Acadian is working with the Office of Emergency Preparedness and local law enforcement agencies. Operations will continue until the storm winds reach 50 mph sustained winds, which is considered the maximum velocity at which patients can be safely transported.
“Those unaffected by the storm can be assured that Acadian’s operations for their area will not be diminished,” Romero said. “Due to our regional operations, we have access to additional medics on an as-needed basis without affecting the level of service expected in our service area.