The Herald, Sharon,
PA Published Wednesday, Jan. 14, 1998


Rural Metro sending help to workers in New York

By Jennifer Hall
Herald Staff Writer

Told to prepare to stay for a week, five paramedics and emergency medical technicians from Rural Metro Ambulance were notified Tuesday night they were headed to upstate New York.

An ice storm last week knocked out electricity, prompting a federal disaster declaration in dozens of counties in New York and parts of New England.

The men loaded equipment into two ambulances and within an hour headed for Syracuse, N.Y. Philip Steele, area manager for the company, said he could not identify the men but said three are from Mercer County.

The men are part of the ambulance company's National Disaster Response Team.

``This is an emergency relatively close to our area,'' Steele said. ``They will do evacuation work, general transportation and relieve other crews or answer general 911 calls. Basically they will just be helping where they are needed.''

Steele said Rural Metro saw a need for this type of mutual aid and, like other ambulance services across the country formed the team.

``It is activated where lots of medical people, vehicles and resources are needed,'' he said. ``It's something that needs to be done and somebody has to provide the service.''

This is the second time since the team was formed three years ago it has been activated. The team responded in September 1996 when Hurricane Fran hit the East Coast.

During the team's stay, Rural Metro is responsible for the crew's expenses, Steele said. If something happens here while the team is gone, other teams would come in to meet local needs, he added.

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Updated Jan. 14, 1998
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