Kansas City, Mo. - On August 6, 2021, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced that several new "ambulance strike teams" would be positioned around different metro areas across the state, including Kansas City, to help hospitals and EMTs deal with the growing numbers of COVID-19 patients, as a result of the fast-spreading delta variant.
Hospitals and health care resources across the Kansas City region are being overwhelmed by an influx of COVID-19 patients infected with the delta variant - especially when it comes to resources related to transporting patients.
According to KCTV, the governor's announcement means that number of mutual aid ambulances providing patient transfers between hospitals will triple - which will help alleviate much of the burden on local hospitals and EMT services.
Dan Manley, Region A Fire and EMS Mutual Aid Coordinator, said, “the ambulances that are made available will decrease the impact on local jurisdictions as part of those inter-facility transfers. Those are time consuming transfers. By having these resources available through the federal ambulance strike team, it will keep the capability for the local jurisdiction to maintain that service capability.”
Each strike team consists of 30 ambulances and more than 60 trained EMS personnel. In addition to Kansas City, the governor is deploying ambulance strike teams to Northeast Missouri, Northwest Missouri, South-Central Missouri, and Southwest Missouri, all of which are COVID-19 hotspots.
They include a combination of both basic and advanced life-support ambulances.
Kansas City's strike team will be positioned at the American Medical Response offices in neighboring Independence, according to KCTV.
Governor Parson said in his statement, “the ambulance strike teams we positioned in Springfield have been extremely effective in helping save lives and ease the pressure on local hospitals. These 30 new ambulance teams triple our transport capacity and expand it to the entire state, as needed. Our health care professionals are performing heroically to save lives as the Delta variant dramatically increases hospital admissions. We will continue to support our health care heroes across the state.”
The ambulance strike teams were made available to Missouri following a request made to FEMA earlier in the summer. They are expected to operate through at least September 5, 2021.
According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, there are currently 2,125 COVID-19 patients hospitalized throughout the state, including hundreds in the Kansas City region.
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