WESLACO, Texas (KVEO) — As Hurricane Laura threatens the Texas-Louisana border, Weslaco Fire is sending resources to help.
Weslaco Fire Chief Antonio Lopez, says the state has requested the department deploy it’s Ambus Emergency Task Force-11 (EMTF-11), to Beaumont. The plan is for the department to assist in evacuating medical facilities, specifically nursing homes.
The Ambus is one of only 14 in the state, and they are deployed when mass care is needed, mass evacuations, or other major disasters.
Chief Lopez says the Ambus team is made up of 6 crew members, along with an additional team member, in a separate unit.
The team is made up of paramedics, who can tackle anything from a simple cut, treating a cardiac arrest patient, even delivering a baby. The Ambus is capable of providing space for up to 20 critical patients.
This is not the first time Weslaco Fire has sent their Ambus to the region. During Hurricane Harvey, Chief Lopez says they were deployed for 18 days.
“During Hurricane Harvey, they learned, there’s a lot of areas that do flood. So especially if a hurricane is coming in, and this one being a category 3 [ at the moment], they are not taking any chances. They want to make sure they are able to evacuate those people in need,” says Chief Lopez.
If their deployment lasts more than 5 to 7 days a new team will be sent in to relieve the crew. Chief Lopez says they are in it for the long run.
Chief Lopez adds during times of need first responders help each other out. He points to a month and a half ago when ambulances came from Houston to Dallas to help with the spike in COVID-19 cases.
Lopez says this is now our time to return the favor and help them.