LAFAYETTE, La. — In response to Tropical Storm Isaac being projected further westward, and a hurricane watch in effect for parts of Louisiana, Acadian Ambulance has activated its Evacuation Response Operations Center. EROC consists of a specialized team of operations and support staff dedicated to coordinating the evacuation of health care facilities.
“Currently, Acadian has activated additional ambulance personnel and support staff to coordinate incoming requests,” said Jerry Romero, senior vice president of operations. “Additional medics are standing by and will be used on an as-needed basis.”
As of this morning, Acadian has evacuated 51 patients from nursing home facilities from Orleans and Plaquemines parishes with 66 more scheduled and 98 pending. Fuel station depots have been set up in Gretna and Houma where power outages are expected, and an emergency generator has been deployed to Air Med VI stationed in New Orleans.
During hurricane season, the benefits of the extensive resources Acadian Ambulance has available becomes most evident and is a testament to Acadian’s ability to successfully coordinate and execute massive emergency operations. This was never more apparent than when Acadian evacuated more than 2000 patients from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. As part of Acadian’s hurricane preparedness, strategic checkups have been completed for all support systems, communications circuits, and additional emergency generators for the communication center and radio towers have been tested for operational efficiency.
Acadian’s "Hurricane Plan" has been in effect since Saturday, when officials met with field operations, communications personnel, fleet maintenance, and medical supply to put those directives into place. The company’s Evacuation Response Operations Center is located on the second floor of operations headquarters in Lafayette. There, officials coordinate logistics for the areas they anticipate will be most affected by the storm.
Acadian is working with the Office of Emergency Preparedness and local law enforcement agencies. Operations will continue until the storm winds reach 50 mph sustained winds, which is considered the maximum velocity at which patients can be safely transported.
“Those unaffected by the storm can be assured that Acadian’s operations for their area will not be diminished,” Romero said. “Due to our regional operations, we have access to additional medics on an as-needed basis without affecting the level of service expected in our service area.”
Persons facing life or death situations should dial 911. Acadian Ambulance can be reached for Louisiana non-emergency medical assistance by calling 511 direct and pressing option 2; Texas and Mississippi residents can call 1-800-259-1111.
Since 1971, Acadian has been committed to providing the highest level of emergency medical care and transportation possible. In the past decade, the company has expanded to include a diverse suite of services in health, safety, and transportation. Acadian’s six divisions are Acadian Ambulance Service, Acadian Monitoring Services, Air Med, Executive Aircraft Charter Service, National EMS Academy and Safety Management Systems.