PRINCE GEORGE, VA (WWBT) - More than 100 ambulance crews from across the country are staged at Fort Lee, ready to go at a moment’s notice, to help those impacted by Hurricane Florence.
According to Hollie Martin, the commander at Fort Lee, it’s all a part of a national response network, organized by FEMA.
Fort Lee is being used as a base to house more than 200 people from around the country, including EMTs and medical personnel. Depending on the damage Florence leaves behind, more ambulance crews could be requested to come help.
“They are from all over parts of the country,” Martin said. “Some are from California, some from Texas, Indiana, New York, New Jersey. As relief efforts start staging from the storm, we will most likely see more come in here.”
Joseph Baasch and three of his fellow EMTs drove 14 hours from Wisconsin and arrived in Virginia on Wednesday.
"We're out there to serve others, take care of others," Baasch said. "We've been responding with FEMA since 2008."
Baasch’s ambulance company is in a contract with FEMA. For this deployment, they sent four EMTs and two ambulances. This is Baasch’s second deployment. His ambulance is stocked with medical supplies, ready to help those impacted by Hurricane Florence.
“We would provide the care we would as we would back at home station,” Baasch said. “Respond to emergency or non-emergency calls they task us with.”
As of Wednesday evening, there are 105 ambulances staged at Fort Lee and over 200 people.
"This location for us is out of the immediate impact for the storm but it's close enough to be quick with our relief efforts," Martin said.
For now, they watch Hurricane Florence’s path and survey the damage left behind. When the call comes from FEMA, these public servants are ready to hit the road and help.
It’s a possibility that Fort Lee will become the base staging area for other agencies too, to assist in the relief efforts.