Deployed Vermont EMS ambulance convoy to divert to edge of storm path in Forney, Texas

Vermont team proceeds with caution toward storm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 23, 2005, 2:30 p.m.

CONTACT: Communication Office

BURLINGTON – Vermont’s 14 ambulance crews and 35 Vermont Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel are being routed to Forney, Texas on Saturday to avoid arriving in Houston at the height of Hurricane Rita.

“Clearly the situation along the Texas/Louisiana coast is unstable,” said Health Commissioner Paul Jarris, MD. “Priority #1 is to protect our people and assets as they move toward the storm-ravaged area to give aid.”

The Vermont Department of Health has arranged for the crews to stay in Forney after conferring with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials. The Vermont crews will wait out the blast on the edge of the hurricane in the hometown of relatives of Vergennes EMS Operations Manager Chuck Welch. The convoy will stay in Jackson, Tenn. on Friday.

State officials working in the Health Department’s operations center and Vermont Emergency Management’s state emergency operations center will continue to closely follow the projected path of the storm and will maintain contact with Texas State Police to avoid traffic congestion. John Vose, a paramedic with Upper Valley Ambulance Service who is leading the Vermont convoy, will contact the FEMA National Coordination Center for deployment instructions on Saturday. Vose and the crews learned of three significant levee breaks today in Louisiana as they traveled south through Virginia.

“The storm continues to look grim and the Vermont EMS crews will be well positioned to make an immediate difference,” said Dr. Jarris. “Our job back here in Vermont is to make sure the team is safe and rested as the Hurricane hits land. The team is ready to be deployed as quickly and as efficiently as possible at the direction of FEMA.”

Services Deploying to Texas:

Bennington Rescue Squad
Bennington, VT
Business Phone: 802-442-5817

Rescue, Inc.
Brattleboro, VT
Business Phone: 802-257-7679

Regional Ambulance Service, Inc.
Rutland, VT
Business Phone: 802-773-1746

Upper Valley Ambulance
Fairlee, VT
Business Phone: 802-333-4043

Mad River Valley Ambulance Service
Waitsfield, VT
Business Phone: 802-496-8888

Milton Rescue
Milton, VT
Business Phone: 802-893-4556

Vergennes Area Rescue Squad, Inc.
Vergennes, VT 05491
Business Phone: 802-877-3683

Essex Rescue, Inc
Essex Jct. VT
Business Phone: 802-878-4859

Richmond Rescue, Inc.
Richmond, VT
Business Phone: 802-434-2394

Newport Ambulance Service, Inc.
Newport, VT
Business Phone: 802-334-2023

Derby Line Ambulance, Inc.
Derby Line, VT
Business Phone: 802-873-3250

Enosburg Ambulance Service
Enosburg Falls, VT
Business Phone: 802-933-2118

Town of Barre EMS
Barre Town, VT
Business Phone: 802-476-3147

Poultney Rescue Squad, Inc.
Poultney, VT
Business Phone: 802-287-5575