JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) – First Responders across Arkansas are heading to Florida in anticipation of Hurricane Idalia.
Hurricane Idalia is expected to make landfall as a major hurricane on Wednesday.
Medic One in Jonesboro sent three crew to Florida ahead of the hurricane.
“We typically take most of our administrative personnel, which leaves all of our on-the-ground people here in service to take care of the area here,” said Tim Brickell, director of operations with Medic One.
A deployment will typically last between 3 to 14 days.
Brickell said the crews with Medic One are currently in the middle of the panhandle, away from the path of Hurricane Idalia.
“The ones that arrive early are typically for evacuations of healthcare facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, and things like that to get those patients out of the way of the storm,” he said.
Tracey Snell is an EMT who traveled with Crittenden EMD as part of a special operations team. She said she didn’t hesitate when the opportunity to help arrived.
“This is what we live for, you know, send us, send me to help out,” she said.
Snell and several others left Memphis and headed to Montgomery, Alabama.
Her destination will be Havana, Florida, also away from the direct path of the hurricane.
Once the hurricane passes, Brickell said the job of the first responders changes as well.
“According to how much damage there is or how much need there is then they will shift the assets back to the area that is most heavily hit. Then we shift into a mode where we have to supplement 911 in that particular area,” he said.
Snell too, will be waiting to see where she and her team are needed.
“We’ll be in our vehicles tonight, probably staying there until the storm hits and then they may send us exactly into where the path of the storm just hit,” she said.
This is Snell’s first time deployed to help, and even though the hurricane intimidates her, she’s said she’s ready to help.
“I have faith that we’re going to be ok, we all held hands and said a prayer before we left,” she said.
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