Johnston Co. EMS on standby to help with hurricane in Florida

TISHOMINGO, Okla. (KXII) - With Hurricane Dorian expected to make its way up the east coast of the country, Johnston County EMS said one of its ambulances and two crew members could soon be making a trip to Florida to help with hurricane evacuation and emergency calls.

Director Kenny Power said emergency crews, like Johnston County EMS, have been put on standby through American Medical Response which has a contract through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"Our crew has made somewhat of preparations since last Thursday to where, now, if they were to call me right now, we should be able to have a truck out of the door, on its way to Florida within 60 minutes or less," Power said.

Power said Johnston County EMS has been on several out of state deployments to Texas, Florida and Louisiana in the past, aiding with evacuation as well as helping overwhelmed local 911 agencies.

Amanda McGehee has worked for Johnston County EMS for about two years and is one of the two crew members who volunteered to go to Florida.

If activated, this would be her first time on an out of state deployment.

"It kind of makes me a little bit nervous," McGehee said. "I'm not sure exactly what to expect when we get there, what kind of situation we're looking at. But there's going to be so many people here that's going to need our help so that kind of sits on the back burner, compared to what they're going through."

Power said Carnegie EMS, located in Carnegie, OK, was activated Monday morning to go to Clearwater, FL for staging.

If the Johnston County EMS crew is called to action, FEMA will reimburse the trip's expenses.

Power said Johnston County will not see a slump in EMS service.

"That's my number one priority and it's good that we have enough staff and enough equipment that we can shuffle them around, still have equipment, people to take care and be able to go to Florida, or Texas or Louisiana or wherever we can to help them in their time of need," Power said.

Power said he expects Johnston County EMS to be deployed but it is just a matter of time as to when that will be.