First responders on stand-by to aid coastal communities with hur - | WBTV Charlotte

First responders on stand-by to aid coastal communities with hurricane

(Alex Giles | WBTV) (Alex Giles | WBTV)

Paramedics in Gaston County are among those ready to lend a helping hand if Hurricane Matthew causes chaos along the east coast of North Carolina.

Several first responders from Gaston County Emergency Medical Services (GEMS) are on stand-by this week heading into the weekend.

Lt. Jessica Ross with GEMS said that some units are already in Kinston, North Carolina waiting for the storm to approach the coast. Ross said those units include paramedics, supervisors and fleet maintenance personnel. 

They are on stand-by indefinitely and could spend several days backing up their comrades across the state.

“We were told five to seven days, but that could change,” said Ross.

She said the Gaston County paramedics will help with any evacuations and backfill for other agencies. She explained that the unknown factors of a hurricane keep first responders on their toes.

“Just not really knowing the situation and just try to be prepared,” said Ross.

She said that in a situation like this, first responders are encouraged to prepare for the worst. She said the GEMS medics are happy to help other agencies, even if they aren’t nearby.

“It's what we do as paramedics - is help. And we know if we needed help, then our surrounding partners would help us,” said Ross.

Officials with Medic in Charlotte said they also have units on stand-by to assist with any hurricane operations.

Catawba County Emergency Management posted on social media that they are sending paramedics to the coast as well.


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