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First FEMA mission from Spartanburg deploys to Columbia



Four ambulances left from Spartanburg’s Downtown Airport at 9:18 a.m. Sunday morning to assist in FEMA’s search and rescue mission.

Over 400 EMS workers are still waiting on standby for their mission deployments through FEMA.

200 ambulances and 11 helicopters are stationed along the airport’s tarmac and ready to assist.

Chris Stawasz, American Medical Response’s Public Information Officer explains how the slow moving system could impact crew deployment times.

“Every hurricane is different,” Stawasz said. “We’ve been in situations where the moment we arrive we get deployed and others like this. This storm is very slow moving so once it moves out and damage is assessed and need assessments are made, that’s when requests start coming in.”

In the meantime, accommodations are constantly evolving to make the wait as comfortable as possible.

“Overall, we’ve got a very robust group of people here in good spirits,” Stawasz said. “We’ve got some great logistics on the back side to keep (EMS workers) fed. I think for the most part they’re doing really well given the conditions they’re in and the waiting game they’re in.”

Two more crews are expected to be deployed on Monday.


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