LAKEWOOD, Ohio- As Hurricane Irma makes its way toward Florida, people down south are packing up and fleeing the state. However some from Northeast Ohio are driving right into the danger in order to help others. A group of ambulances left Ohio this week and drove all the way to Florida to help people get prepared for the worst.
Three squads from Community Care ambulance left the Oakwood area at six Thursday morning. They arrived in Tallahassee at two Friday morning where the emergency crews are staging. Each ambulance has an EMT and a Paramedic.
The group also sent three crews to Texas to help with Hurricane Harvey. Those crews are on their way back now.
CCA provides multi-tiered medical transportation services for Northeastern Ohio. They are the primary 911 provider for the cities of Ashtabula, Middlefield Township and Village. A company spokesperson says this is something the group has been doing since Katrina hit in 2005. He says everyone steps up to help in these type of situations. Even when they only have a few hours notice to be ready.
Michael Sass, director of human resources at Community Care Ambulance told FOX 8 News, “They‘re going into situations that are dangerous that others are trying to exit from, so we have the utmost respect for them. They are very talented and they do a phenomenal job.”
Sass says this will not affect emergency response times back home. “An effort like this to be able to deploy crews across the country for disaster relief takes a full team effort. We a have a phenomenal crew here in Northeast Ohio that are back filling the shifts taking care of the trucks and all of the equipment and making sure we provide service to our home base as well.”
They aren’t the only ones headed south. The American Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region is deploying about a dozen people to get ahead of Hurricane Irma. All four emergency response vehicles were sent to Texas along with dozens of people. Volunteers and equipment will now head to Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
“We have tons of people and tons of equipment,” CEO Michael Parks says. “We continue to support them and will continue to support them.”