Hurricane Barry: A Test of Preparation

As Hurricane Barry made its way through the Gulf of Mexico, the Louisiana (Rural) Ambulance Alliance (LAA/LRAA) team was hard at work hoping for the best, yet preparing for the worst. The LAA/LRAA team recalled the information presented in the recent Hurricane Season Preparedness Workshop as a guide to success. 

Days prior to the activation of a State of Emergency, the Alliance initiated leadership and staff calls, communicated with Emergency Support Function (ESF)-8 contract contacts and communicated and gathered information from surge subcontractors, primarily under the leadership of Emergency Response Coordinator, Rob Daughdril and LAA/LRAA CEO, Donna Newchurch.

“My word for this experience is ‘opportunity’,” said Donna Newchurch, LAA/LRAA CEO. “With Barry looming and promising but not quite delivering a devesting blow, we had several opportunities and seized them all!” With reference to the establishment of an Emergency Operations Center, maintaining communication with leadership, staff, subcontractors and more, the Alliance truly displayed how important preparedness is in the work it does. 

LAA/LRAA subcontractors throughout the state of Louisiana pledged over 50 EMS units and response teams were ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice. “The one opportunity that was lacking, the opportunity to respond, was surely not missed,” added Newchurch. “We will keep our fingers crossed that we continue to miss the response opportunity for the rest of Hurricane Season.” 

Hurricane Barry is one of several predicted storms for the 2019 Hurricane Season and the Alliance will continue to take a proactive approach to each.

About the Louisiana Ambulance Alliance

The Louisiana Ambulance Alliance (LAA) is a diverse group of EMS providers who promote emergency medical transport as a distinct concern in Louisiana; serve as a forum for a unified voice for healthcare providers, public officials, healthcare workers, educators and consumers working to improve emergency medical transport in Louisiana; provide a forum for the exchange and distribution of ideas and information related to the improvement of emergency medical transport; serve as an advocate for emergency medical transport, promoting improved health status and improvements to the health system for residents of Louisiana; and encourage the development of appropriate health resources for Louisiana. 

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