Major Incidents, News

S.C. EMTs Head to New Orleans to Help Storm Victims

ANDERSON, S.C. — A team of 43 Medshore Ambulance personnel is heading to New Orleans to help the officials there protect its residents from potential flooding from Hurricane Isaac.

The Medshore Ambulance Service is part of a national team that responds to areas affected by disasters or major storms. Don McCown, the ambulance service’s chief compliance officer, said the local team was on stand-by, waiting for orders to head west. McCown said he will be part of the team.

“We know we’re going; we just don’t know when,” McCown said.

He said 43 personnel and 21 ambulances will be deployed from Medshore, which has locations in Anderson and across the Upstate. McCown did not know how long the deployment will last for the Anderson team.

Often such deployments last about two weeks.

“All of our staff is on mandatory overtime until we return,” McCown said.

The Medshore team has been called up to respond to every hurricane in the region since Hurricane Andrew hit south Florida in 1992, McCown said. The last time the local team was asked to help out with disaster response to a storm was when Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast in August 2011.

McCown said officials in New Orleans are mainly worried about flooding in the area after the storm passes through.

The Medshore team is one of the top emergency operations in the Southeast that is called on for national disaster help, McCown said.