CLACKAMAS, Ore. – American Medical Response is sending 100 ambulances, from all over the nation, to help in California. 25 to 30 of those ambulances are from the Pacific Northwest. Teams from Portland, Spokane, and Seattle are a part of that group.
Thursday morning, a team met in the Monarch Hotel parking lot in Clackamas, before hitting the road.
Sarah Orvis is one of the team members. Orvis lives in Spokane, and has been an EMT for about 20 years. She got the call to action Wednesday afternoon and spent the night at the Monarch Hotel.
“I have a husband and 12-year-old son at home,” Orvis said, “But I’ve been on and off, on standby, all summer for hurricanes. So, I’m semi-prepared."
The wave Orvis was in, was the last wave to leave from the Portland-metro area. Four other waves of ambulances left Wednesday night.
“We train quite for this quite a bit,” said Marc Kilman-Burnham with American Medical Response. “Our crews know, going down there, it’s a dangerous situation. But what we are there for, is to provide help and resources, to make sure people are safe, and that we are able to get to people who need to be evacuated.”
As for Orvis, she’s ready for whatever is ahead. “It’s something you don’t see on a daily basis,” she said. “So you go in, and deal with it, as it hits you.”
Crews expect they will remain in California for about two weeks.