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Recent Emergency Responses


2012 Activation

Fast Facts: Hurricane Isaac

  • Deployed August 27 -- September 6, 2012
  • FEMA contracted EMS in Louisiana
  • 111 ground ambulances deployed (76% ALS, 24% BLS)
  • 20 paratransit vehicles deployed
  • 306 mission assignments
  • 410 patient contacts

Hurricane Isaac was a category 2 storm that made landfall in Louisiana on the evening of August 21, 2012 near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Due to its large size, the hurricane produced a relatively large storm surge. At least nine fatalities were confirmed in the United States: five in Louisiana and two each in Mississippi and Florida. AMR/FEMA assets were deployed to Louisiana with Baton Rouge as the staging area. The deployment lasted from August 27 – September 6, 2012 (11 days). Included in this deployment were: 111 ambulances, 20 paratransit vehicles, 4 Operations Support Teams, and 2 Communications Support Teams. FEMA evaluated AMR’s performance as “Excellent” for this deployment.

This is their official comment about the quality of service provided by AMR, “Throughout this activation AMR was a responsive and exceptional vendor! They anticipated each requirement, going above and beyond to meet and exceed thresholds for deployments and demobilization timelines, and made efforts to always and eagerly react to every requirement with ease and great effectiveness. This activation went smoothly due to large part to their past experience and to the leadership involved throughout the operation. They are a very balanced and knowledgeable team as well. Their expertise is evident and was a great support throughout the activation. If we encountered any issues they were also driven to work and provide recommended solutions. It was a pleasure to work with this top notch professional organization!"


Fast Facts: Hurricane Sandy

  • Deployed October 27 – December 4, 2012 (38 days)
  • FEMA contracted EMS in New York City metropolitan area
  • 368 ground ambulances deployed (73% ALS, 27% BLS)
  • 2,172 mission assignments
  • 46,471 patient contacts

Hurricane Sandy devastated portions of the Midā€Atlantic and Northeastern United States during late October 2012. The effects in New York were severe, particularly in New York City, its suburbs, and Long Island. Sandy was the 18th named storm and 10th hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane season. It was a Category 2 storm at its peak intensity and on the night of October 29 it made landfall near Atlantic City, New Jersey, as a Category 1 hurricane. It is the largest Atlantic hurricane on record (as measured by diameter). It is the second costliest hurricane in U.S. history. Approximately 131 people died in the U.S. as a result of this storm. FEMA activated AMR for 38 days for this “Superstorm”. This was the longest single Federal EMS deployment in U.S. history. AMR deployed 369 ambulances to New York City, Nassau County and Suffolk in NY. Fixed Location Support Medical Personnel (EMTs and Paramedics) were activated for the first time for this deployment. Operations Support Teams and Communications Support Teams were also utilized.

The USDHHS made the following comment about AMR’s performance: “Please accept our sincere thanks for a job well done! AMR not only provided the excellent service and support we have come to expect, but also was able to roll with the unexpected changes and emerging needs as they arose. In no small part, your support helped us successfully respond to this event. Please extend our heartfelt appreciation to all who worked such long hours for more than a month!”


2011 Activation

Fast Facts: Hurricane Irene

  • Deployed August 26 – August 31, 2011 (6 days)
  • FEMA contracted EMS in New York City metropolitan area
  • 188 ground ambulances deployed (70% ALS, 30% BLS)
  • 1,188 mission assignments
  • 1,170 patient contacts

Hurricane Irene was a large and powerful Atlantic hurricane that left extensive flood and wind damage along its path through the Caribbean, the United States East Coast and as far north as Atlantic Canada. It made landfall over Eastern North Carolina’s Outer Banks on August 27 as a Category 1 hurricane. After briefly reemerging over water, Irene made a second U.S. landfall in New Jersey on August 28. Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm as it made its third U.S. landfall in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn, New York, at approximately 9:00 AM on August 28. Considerable damage occurred in eastern upstate New York and Vermont, which suffered from the worst flooding in centuries. A mandatory evacuation order was issued on August 26 for low-lying areas of New York City. The President issued a state of emergency declaration for the New York metropolitan area. The nation’s largest mass transit system was completely shut down. The Staten Island University Hospital, Coney Island Hospital, New York University Hospitals Center, and the Veterans Administration Hospital began evacuating patients on August 26. Sixteen nursing homes and adult care facilities were also evacuated. FEMA ordered AMR to deploy 175 Federally-contracted ambulances and crews into New York to assist with evacuation and augment local 9-1-1 EMS response.

FEMA and the USDHHS had this to say about the deployment: “Very smooth. Congratulations on a textbook deployment.” “Excellent work by all of you involved in this mission. This was the best in-theater coordination by FEMA and AMR with the Federal EMS Contract. The mission was a success and the AMR Incident Command Team did an outstanding job. Thanks for the great work on this mission, Very professionally done under fast changing and difficult circumstances.”


2009 Activation

In anticipation of record crowds and increased emergency medical service activity for the 2009 Presidential Inauguration, FEMA activated its Federal EMS Contract with AMR. The government ordered federal aid to supplement the Washington DC response efforts. AMR was tasked with providing appropriate assistance for certain emergency protective measures that may be needed to save lives and protect public health and safety. This was designated as a National Security Special Event (NSSE) by the Department of Homeland Security. AMR and its disaster response network subcontractors responded with 144 ambulances and 15 paratransit buses. Most of these resources were assigned to support the Washington DC Fire Department EMS system. Some assets were assigned to Maryland to provide emergency care to the large numbers of riders utilizing the public transit system out of the Capitol.

In evaluating AMR’s performance of this deployment, FEMA had this to say: “We have come to rely upon AMR during national disasters and once again, they have done a great job. The AMR/FEMA contract is an all-hazards agreement and this deployment certainly demonstrates the diversity of AMR to respond to major events other than hurricanes. FEMA is proud to be represented by this group of trained EMS professionals.”


2008 Activation

Fast Facts: Hurricanes Gustav and Ike

  •  Deployed August 28 – October 4, 2008 (38 total combined days, 4 overlapping days)
  • FEMA contracted EMS in three states: MS, LA and TX

The 2008 hurricane season was one for the record books. On September 1, 2008, the eye of Hurricane Gustav made landfall in south Louisiana prompting the largest evacuation in that state’s history - 2 million people. The size of this storm prompted FEMA to activate the AMR/FEMA Federal EMS Contract in three (3) separate states simultaneously; Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. This was unprecedented.


Fast Facts: Hurricane Ike

  • Deployed September 9 – October 4, 2008 (25 days)
  • FEMA contracted EMS in two states simultaneously: TX and LA
  • 540 ground ambulances
  • Ambulances responded from 34 states
  • 25 air ambulances (fixed and rotary wing)
  • 163 Paratransit vehicles (to provide 3,000 passenger seats)

While still recovering from Gustav, Hurricane Ike made landfall in Texas on September 12, 2008. At one point, the diameter of Ike’s forceful winds made it the most massive Atlantic hurricane recorded. FEMA called upon AMR once again. The government then requested the maximum EMS resources for the Atlantic and Gulf states (zones 1 and 2), be deployed for Hurricanes Gustav and Ike simultaneously. AMR and its network providers responded accordingly. AMR established forward operating bases (FOB) in each state (Jackson MS, Alexandria LA, San Antonio TX, Houston TX and Galveston TX). The EMS deployment to these back-to-back disasters established a new benchmark in EMS disaster response. Never before have so many ground ambulances, air ambulances, and paratransit vehicles been deployed to assist disaster victims. Ambulances responded from 35 states to Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Approximately 50% of the ground ambulances were supplied by AMR's subcontracted network providers. 150 different ambulance companies responded.

To complicate matters, in between Gustav and Ike came Hurricane Hanna, that threatened the Atlantic Coast and made landfall on the South Carolina / North Carolina border. AMR released all deployed ambulances from states affected by Hanna so they could return home and backfilled with additional ambulances from non-vulnerable states. These contiguous disaster deployments are by far the largest mobilization of EMS disaster resources in U.S. history.

SDHHS Lt. Commander Bruce Dell characterized AMR’s performance as follows: “Deploying roughly 600 ambulances across three Gulf States is grossly equivalent to a U.S. Army Armored Division deployed across an area more than twice the size of Iraq… It has been a pleasure working in the environment of professionalism and excellence which defines AMR.”


2007 Activation


In August of 2007, catastrophic Hurricane Dean threatened to make landfall in south Texas. State officials requested Federal assistance with evacuation and the AMR/FEMA Federal EMS Contract was activated for the first time. The government asked AMR to deploy 300 ground ambulances, 25 air ambulances, and paratransit vehicles to transport 3,500 passengers. AMR coordinated the mobilization of ambulances, aircraft and paratransit vehicles from 30 states to meet this challenge. The response from AMR’s disaster provider network was unprecedented.

FEMA described this deployment as “the largest mobilization of EMS resources in the history of the United States”. AMR’s Hurricane Dean deployment was evaluated by FEMA and the results have been posted publicly by the National Institutes of Health. AMR attained either “outstanding” or “excellent” evaluation scores from FEMA and the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services in all categories. The evaluation states, “This firm acted in the most professional manner and I would easily and strongly recommend this firm to any Federal agency. The government’s overall satisfaction with this deployment was extremely high.”