September 01, 2008
AmeriCare Ambulance deployed 10 ambulances and 2 supervisors to Houston, TX, to aid hurricane RITA victims in the Gulf Coast region. Twenty employees from AmeriCare's Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Regions prepared to leave for a 30 to 45 day deployment to the Gulf Coast to assist those who became victims of the recent hurricane.
AmeriCare crews were awakened at 2 AM on Thursday, September 22, 2005. The company was activated under a FEMA order that would last from 3 to 30 days with the probability that crews might be on assignment for 45 days. Crews drove through the night in order to get to Texas before the storm hit. The drive was long, with many stops for fuel along the way.
However, as the crews awaited final instructions for their staging area, they found fortune in the small town of Sonora, Texas. The townsfolk greeted this traveling team of emergency workers with unbelievable gratitude and hometown support. It was one of the most giving and kind towns they were fortunate enough to come across. They realized the crews were tired and had some down time available, so they arranged for them to shower in their new, local hospital, and provided beds to sleep in for the night. And within about an hour, had prepared a feast of home-cooked Texas Chicken Fried Steak and Pizza!
They arrived at the Reliant Center in Texas late Friday evening to find what appeared to be a deserted town, but upon further investigation found where to make camp, among the more than 80 other ambulances. Most people slept through the night as the hurricane came through, destroying so much in its path.
Around 9 AM the first units were given their assignments to areas where hospitals had lost power and needed the most critical patients evacuated to safety. They had not even been to the hardest hit areas and still had seen unbelievable destruction.
AmeriCare crews took the initiative to barter with the National Guard to fuel the ambulances lined up with patients in them that needed transportation to other hospitals. They also found a kitchen at a High School that had food available, cooked breakfast for the residents and refugees and gave other care.
Our crews were recognized by many at the base of operations. Other company’s supervisors and strike team leaders sought out our supervisors to compliment them for their exceptional efforts and creative, decisive, quick-thinking actions. They appreciated the way AmeriCare took charge and got the job done. The command staff also made many positive comments about our employees. Our crews were assigned with others and had stars by their unit numbers on the status board, because the other agencies wanted to work with us.
WE ARE SO PROUD of the unity we gained and the incredible feats accomplished under the worst of conditions! The crews seldom slept, worked hard in the hottest and stickiest weather and never complained. Thanks to everyone for a job well done!