July 29, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
53°F

Ambulance team headed to Texas ahead of Gustav

By CASSANDRA SHOFAR
Staff Writer

Hurricane Gustav could hit anywhere from the Florida Panhandle to eastern Texas next week, with Tropical Storm Hannah not far behind, and a local ambulance team is en route to Texas to work in the thick of it.

Medic EMS — a private ambulance company based in Medina and Wooster — contracted with the Federal Emergency Management Agency last year to help in the event of a national crisis, Medic EMS owner Jeffrey Scott said Friday evening, talking on his cell phone.

“We got our orders last night around 11:15 p.m.,” he said, adding he and his partner, Steve Neff — who owns Medina-based SVFE Ambulette Service, a wheelchair provider — hit the road around 1 a.m. Friday.

“We are tired, weary travelers right now,” he said with a chuckle.

The duo and their ambulance will report to an Air Force base in San Antonio, and will receive their deployment orders from there, Scott said.

“Because we’re one of the more heavily equipped vehicles that have more specialized equipment, a ventilator and medication that are above what a normal paramedic squad would carry … we’re getting put right in the thick of wherever this thing is going to hit,” he said.

He added while they do not want people to get hurt and are nervous of putting themselves in harm’s way, they are very excited at the same time.

“This is what we live for; this is what put us in this job. So for us, this is just doing what we aspire to do,” he said. “We’re the first ambulance company in Medina County to be deployed, which is kind of an honor to us. I’m not aware of another EMS company in Medina County that has a FEMA contract.”

Scott said Tropical Storm Hannah, which is predicted to become a hurricane, could follow in Gustav’s wake, which could keep them there around 10 days.

“We’re in this job to help save lives and help other people,” he said. “We wanted to make sure that we can help out wherever the need is.”

Shofar may be reached at 330-721-4044 or cshofar@ohio.net.