Vermont EMS Ambulance Crews to remain in Texas as FEMA slowly downscales service to region


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BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health is coordinating the deployment of a third wave of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel to East Texas as the recovery process continues in the wake of Hurricane Rita.

Vermont crews reported over the weekend that 50 of the original 250 ambulances requested through an urgent call from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be demobilized. The Vermont crews have been told to stay in Texas, as their 30-day contracts with FEMA are likely to be extended.

“The Vermont crews already have a reputation in the area for doing their job professionally and with a positive attitude, no matter what they area asked to do or how long the patient transport might be,” said Dan Manz, director of EMS for the Vermont Department of Health.

Vermont EMS personnel continue to provide 911-emergency assistance, have helped to remove fallen trees and debris and, at the advice of earlier crews deployed to the region, pass out stuffed animals to children who look as if they need comfort during a difficult time.

Currently, 30 EMS personnel on 12 Vermont ambulance crews are providing service and support in rural communities near the Louisiana/Texas border.