State sends Ambulance Strike Team to provide aid amidst ample COVID-19 first responder calls

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@eric_urquhart via Twenty20
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Texas Border Business

EDINBURG – An Ambulance Strike Team (AST) will be deployed to Hidalgo County to provide relief and support to current Emergency Medical Service (EMS) providers that have been overwhelmed due to local hospital’s response to COVID-19. 

AST are trained to respond to large-scale emergencies.

Hidalgo County Emergency Management Coordinator Ricardo Saldaña says the strike team could not be coming at a more critical time.

“The state commissioned the Texas Emergency Medical Task Force (TX EMTF) that will support other EMS providers during disasters or when times are crucial,” said Saldaña.  “We appreciate their quick response to our community.”

Hidalgo County is receiving two Ambulance Strike Teams. The AST is a group of five ambulances each, either Advanced Life Support (ALS) or Basic Life Support (BLS), with common communications and a leader in a separate command vehicle.  This team provides an operational group of ambulances complete with a supervisory element for organization command and control.

“Having the strike team on hand will be a big help to reduce wait times for county residents in an emergency,” said Saldaña.  “This will help relieve current ambulances that have been tied up at the hospitals answering other calls regarding COVID-19.”  

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The strike team is scheduled to arrive Wednesday evening.

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