The tropics are very active right now, and like you the Office of EMS staff are actively watching the forecast of Hurricane Florence to better prepare for the potential impacts of the hurricane as it aims for the East Coast. This is a busy time of year for hurricanes and we encourage all EMS providers, and all members of the community, to prepare for the potential impacts of a weather event.
Liability, safety, and accountability become major issues when self-dispatch to affected areas occurs, whether it is done by an agency or a single provider. Self-dispatching also places a strain on the response structure of the affected locality. Again, the best assistance you can provide is making yourself available to your local agency, not self-dispatching to the impacted areas.
As we have in the past, the Office of EMS is compiling a list of individuals interested in deploying to impacted areas, should the need arise. In the event that we do receive a request for Virginia EMS resources to respond, the Division of Emergency Operations will coordinate with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) and appropriate personnel to best respond to the requests.
If you or your agency would like to be considered for deployment, if a request is received, please contact Karen Owens via e-mail – Karen.Owens@vdh.virginia.gov or phone – 804-888-9100.