As the recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida are underway, the Virginia Office of EMS would like to post some reminders about disaster assistance. As EMS providers, we understand that you want to help and that you may feel compelled to travel to areas impacted by a major disaster. We request that you please do not respond to any impacted area that needs assistance, unless you have received a formal request. Requests for assistance from impacted areas will be routed through the Virginia Emergency Operations Center. Those requests pertaining to EMS will be assigned to the Office of EMS, Division of Emergency Operations where they will be filled as applicable and appropriate.
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.
If you have any questions please contact Karen Owens, Emergency Operations Division Director, at Karen.Owens@vdh.virginia.gov.