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HEMSI first responders are assisting relief efforts in Florida remotely, while LifeSouth Community Blood Centers are working to secure blood reserves for injured and other patients. CONTRIBUTED

HEMSI, LifeSouth assist in Dorian relief efforts

MADISON – Local agencies, like Huntsville Emergency Medical Services Inc. or HEMSI and LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, are offering hands-on relief and health readiness for Florida’s East Coast residents dealing with Hurricane Dorian.

HEMSI serves as a network provider with American Medical Response’s contract with FEMA. HEMSI responded to a request for aid in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian and sent two ambulances and five crew members to Florida, along with additional medical supplies.

Crews expected to stay up to two weeks … longer if needed.

“As part of the EMS family, we’re honored to provide assistance to other regions and states without impacting emergency medical services to our local communities,” HEMSI CEO Jon Howell said.

HEMSI, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, provides Madison County with ambulance service in high standards of care. For more information, visit hemsi.org.

American Medical Response Inc. is the United States’ leading provider of medical transportation with services in 40 states and District of Columbia. AMR employs more than 28,000 paramedics, EMTs, RNs and other professionals. For information, visit amr.net.

AMR is part of Global Medical Response companies, an industry leader for air, ground, specialty and residential fire services, along with managed medical transportation. For information, visit globalmedicalresponse.com.

In other lifesaving efforts, LifeSouth Community Blood Centers asks Alabama to help Florida by donating blood.

As Hurricane Dorian moves along the East Coast, Florida hospitals are bracing for significant damage, LifeSouth Regional Director Dinah Garrett said. With local inventories already low due to summer blood shortages, Florida communities are pleading for support.

LifeSouth serves hospitals in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, and the storm will affect the ability of Florida centers to hold blood drives during the dangerous weather. “Donating helps ensure blood will be available to help those who may be injured or need a blood transfusion during and after the storm,” Garrett said.

All blood types are needed, especially type O donors. First-time donors are welcome and encouraged to give. LifeSouth also asks businesses, schools, churches and other organizations to help by hosting a blood drive.

LifeSouth’s local address is 8190 Madison Blvd. To find a blood drive or donation details, call 1-888-795-2707 or visit lifesouth.org.

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