American Medical Response (AMR), the emergency ambulance service provider for San Mateo County, was commended this past week by the County EMS Administrator and Fire Chiefs for the organization's response during the San Bruno natural gas explosion. Even before the cause of the explosion was identified, AMR, in coordination with allied public safety agencies, immediately began to dispatch units towards the location of the event and implement the County's Disaster Response Plan.
Responding within six minutes of the initial 9-1-1 call, AMR quickly activated five additional ambulance strike teams from San Mateo County and the Company's surrounding operations, including San Francisco, Santa Clara and Alameda Counties. Ultimately, AMR responded with over 36 ambulances and 72 crew members to this disaster while still maintaining emergency 911 ambulance services in the county with an additional 11 ambulances.
"I would like to personally commend the efforts of all the men and women of AMR San Mateo during the San Bruno natural gas explosion, " said Sam Barnett, EMS Administrator for San Mateo County. "Their response to this disaster was extraordinary and indicative of a truly professional EMS team. AMR's depth of resources both in San Mateo and surrounding counties is unparalleled."
AMR crews not only provided emergency medical care and transportation to injured residents during this disaster, they also helped to evacuate the impacted neighborhood by knocking on doors and transporting non-injured residents and even their pets out of harms way. In one example of heroism, AMR Paramedic Michael O'Grady and EMT Forrest Uhland, along with police and firefighters, entered homes searching for victims while flames from the explosion were still overtaking the area.
"AMR's performance during this catastrophic event was outstanding, and the support they provided to responding fire agencies and patients was top notch, they truly rose to the occasion, " said Chief Dennis Haag of the San Bruno and Milbrae Fire Department.
The emergency response to the natural gas explosion that occurred on September 9, 2010, was one of the largest responses initiated by San Mateo County public safety agencies. American Medical Response Inc. (www.amr.net), America's leading provider of medical transportation, provides services in 38 states and the District of Columbia. More than 17,000 AMR paramedics, EMTs, RNs and other professionals, with a fleet of 4,100 vehicles, transport more than three million patients nationwide each year in critical, emergency and non-emergency situations. AMR, a subsidiary of Emergency Medical Services Corporation, is headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colo.