GREENVILLE, Ohio/LIBERTY, Ind. — A crew of four Spirit Medical personnel arrived home this past Sunday after working in New Jersey, where they had been since April 17.
Members of the crew were Charles Rock, Todd Marburger, Mike Woodford and Angela Widener.
Shortly after their return, Woodford, a paramedic, complimented the Spirit management team for working so quickly to ensure that each of the Spirit crewmembers were best equipped with PPE, so they were able to stay healthy back home, and ultimately serve in New Jersey, according to Spirit President/CEO Brian K. Hathaway.
“Crews said they averaged eight EMS calls per shift, with the entire FEMA team responding to more than 11K calls during their two-week deployment in New Jersey,” Hathaway reported. “Call volume in New York varied greatly, but most crews averaged four to eight calls during any given 12-hour shift.”
Spirit’s response to New York and New Jersey was a direct result of a contract the company holds with AMR as a network provider. AMR is the primary medical ground transportation division of parent company Global Medical Response. As the nation’s largest provider of ground medical transportation and FEMA’s prime emergency medical service response provider, AMR has a national agreement with FEMA to provide ground ambulance, air ambulance, paratransit services, and non-ambulance EMS personnel to supplement the federal and military response to a disaster, an act of terrorism, or any other public health emergency.
“We are very proud of our staff for all they did while serving in New York and New Jersey,” Hathaway said. ”For many, this will be an experience they will never forget. Not only was it a blessing they were able to serve, but we will be able to take their experiences in hopes of better preparing for anything unforeseen in the future. We appreciate all the thoughts and prayers that were passed our way. As the nation continues to fight this virus, locally we are still on the front lines helping to serve and care for these infected patients’ day in and day out. Our community has pulled together well and we’re appreciative of all the support.”
Capt. Marburger had this to say about his venture: “The first day we did a surge tour in Newark for 12 hours. We were part of Jersey City called Irvington, ‘Big Irv’ as locals called it. The overall mission was an eye-opening experience to how busy the crews where on a normal day-to-day operation. We had some rough times and good ones. The normal crews invited us in with open arms and helped us feel comfortable as could be. Several of them did not want us to leave. On our down time, we would play Dominoes and cards. Due to the call volume it was short lived, and it would take sometimes hours before we got back to finish one game. They fed us with good food. So was the mission a success yes, we did the job and it was necessary to the overall mission that we were assigned to. They thanked us for coming and helping and we were glad that we went and was able to help.”
“We gave relief to the EMS crews that were, they were overwhelmed due to the increase issue of medical calls,” remarked Rock. “We
did a night in Newark and completed the rest of the deployment in Irvington. As large as it (the deployment) was, we had a few miscommunications but that was not unreasonable. It went pretty well; they took care of us with food and other essential supplies.
Widener said they helped give relief to the EMS crews that were there.
“They were overwhelmed due to the increase issue of medical calls,” she said. “In Irvington, we assisted, along with two other ambulance companies of FEMA as well, BLS ( Basic Life Support) ambulances on 9-1-1 calls with our ALS (Advanced Life Support) skills and equipment when needed.”
Contact Darke County Media Staff Writer Linda Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-569-4315, ext. 1749. Read more news, features and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.