September 12, 2019

Hurricane Dorian: A Helping Hand

With a predicted mid-state landfall, Hurricane Dorian was expected to do major damage to Florida, thus prompting the deployment of Louisiana Ambulance Alliance (LAA) response teams. “We were requested to assist any hospital that required evacuation due to potential structural damage or loss of power for extended periods of time,” explained Rob Daughdril, LAA Emergency Preparedness Coordinator and State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Liason. Daughdril led most of the communication between Florida and LAA and organized unit staging, assignments and response teams. 

 LAA deployed 35 units with over 80 EMS personnel and support staff to assist with Hurricane Dorian relief. “Everyone worked together and kept positive attitudes as we monitored the storm closely,” added Seth Breaux, LAA Asset Manager. Breaux’s role was pivotal in coordinating assets, assisting crews, managing operations and more. 

LAA's teams staged first in Alabama then in multiple parts of Florida and yielded for updates when Hurricane Dorian’s track and strength became uncertain. The teams were demobilized and remobilized. Finally, after a few close calls, the teams officially demobilized and returned home to various part of Louisiana. “While our patient interaction was limited, our response to Hurricane Dorian was an excellent opportunity to futher hone our skills and processes for surge response,” noted Donna Newchurch, LAA CEO.

  

“One key thing to note about LAA’s response is the ability of our surge members to prepare and respond at a moment’s notice,” added Daughdril. Storms like Hurricane Barry and Hurricane Dorian have given LAA opportunities to practice and keep current on its surge policies and procedures. “Our teams came together and collectively showed what it truly means to ‘Speak with One Unified Voice’,” added Breaux. 

LAA’s response to Hurricane Dorian, like Hurricane Michael, shows that the state of Louisiana is always ready and willing to extend a helping hand. Following the response to Hurricane Dorian, LAA is expected to have an After Action Review (AAR) and continue to address strengths and opportunities related to surge response.   

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. 

To learn more about LAA, visit www.LouisianaAmbulanceAlliance.org. For up-to-date information, news and updates, follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.