La. medical command centers ready to go
Copyright 2007 The Times-Picayune Publishing Company
NEW ORLEANS, La. — On the first day of 2007 Hurricane Preparedness Week, St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis unveiled two state-of-the-art mobile medical command centers, fully equipped and ready for deployment during crisis or natural disaster emergencies by the Southeast Louisiana Search and Rescue Organization.
The vehicles will be based at the Louisiana Heart Hospital in Lacombe.
"Thanks to the work by SELSAR's executive director, Bill Dobson, and Sheriff Jack Strain, these two vehicles improve our ability to react whenever immediate disaster medical response is needed," Davis said. "They will be poised to respond to any disaster throughout south Louisiana and south Mississippi. Having them home-based in St. Tammany Parish assures our residents of immediate help in times of emergency such as hurricanes or mass casualty disasters."
The two medical command centers were purchased from Mobile Conversions of Amelia, Ohio, with a matching grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security, Dobson said.
Fully self-contained, they are equipped with state-of-the-art communications as well as medical and rescue supplies. Dobson said.
SELSAR has already begun training personnel from fire, police and sheriff's offices as well as other rescue professionals in the operational functions of the units.
In addition to serving as the base camp for the vehicles, the Louisiana Heart Hospital donated all medical supplies to equip the medical command centers as a community service to improve emergency health care in case of a disaster.
Dobson said SELSAR has agreed through a memorandum of understanding with the Sheriff's Office and St. Tammany Parish government that the units will be based in St. Tammany Parish and will respond to other areas as needed in times of emergency.