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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

News in Pictures: HHS, FEMA and the State of New York Partner to Evacuate Patients from Hospitals

National Ambulance Contract used to Protect Lives from Hurricane Irene

August 28, 2011:  Federal responders knew they would need to act fast, rely on existing partnerships with federal, state and local governments, and put plans into action to protect and save lives from the impact of Hurricane Irene.  Before the storm struck, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) worked with New York State and New York City officials to activate the FEMA ambulance contract, which brought more than 175 ground ambulances to New York City for hospital evacuation as a precaution.  Thanks to advance planning and strong partnerships, they were able to complete evacuation of the hospitals before the storm reached New York City. 
Ambulances Gather and Deploy: After initial staging at Stewart Air Force Base, ambulances deployed to evacuate patients from hospitals throughout New York City.   Ambulance staging at Stewart Air Force BaseAmbulances prepare to evacuate hospitals on Coney Island, NY

Response Coordination:   U.S. Public Health Service officers coordinate with officials from New York State and New York City to ensure that response operations run smoothly.   LCDR Yang "Apollo" Wang, USPHS, coordinates resourcesLDCR Wang coordinates deployment details with New York State  and New York City officials.

Situational Awareness & Training:  Responders are briefed on the details of their assignment.  They pay close attention to the progression of the storm and its impact on the mission.   Responders with the ambulance contract receive briefing prior to deploying resourcesTracking the path of the storm to inform the operational response.

Providing Continued Support:  Following the initial evacuation of the hospitals, the ambulance contract continued to provide support during and after the storm.   Ambulances outside Stewart Air Force BaseThe mission is successfully completed before the storm strikes

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Tropical Storm Irene 2011

  • This page last reviewed: August 29, 2011