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    SC National Guard soldiers assist Anderson County agencies during Winter Storm Pax

    SC National Guard soldiers assist Anderson County agencies

    Photo By Maj. Brian Hare | Vehicles provided by the South Carolina Army National Guard’s 263rd Army Air and...... read more read more

    ANDERSON, SC, UNITED STATES

    02.14.2014

    Story by Capt. Brian Hare 

    South Carolina National Guard

    ANDERSON, S.C. – Soldiers from the South Carolina Army National Guard’s 263rd Army Air and Missile Defense Command assisted the Anderson County Emergency Services Division and associated agencies during emergency operations in response to Winter Storm Pax, Feb. 12-14, 2014.

    The response of the S.C. National Guard followed the declaration of the state of emergency by Gov. Nikki Haley, Feb. 11, 2014.

    The Guard provided 23 soldiers and five Humvee’s, including a military ambulance, to assist city and county agencies during winter storm operations. Soldiers worked shifts to provide 24-hour assistance during the operation.

    Two of the Guard vehicles were manned with a soldier, a paramedic, and a deputy from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department. These vehicles were utilized primarily to answer 9-1-1 calls and to provide first responders prior to ambulance arrival.

    The military ambulance was used to support the Medshore Ambulance Service while answering emergency calls during the storm. Patients were transported to the emergency room on-board the ambulance, while advanced life-saving care was provided by paramedics and emergency medical technicians during transport.

    Another critical service provided by the Guard soldiers included transporting employees of the Anderson Area Medical Center (ANMED) to and from work. This assistance was also provided to employees of local nursing homes, as well as employees of the Anderson County Detention Center.

    Citizens of Anderson in need of housing accommodations during the storm were provided transportation by the Guard to designated shelters, which included a shelter manned by the Red Cross at the Civic Center of Anderson. Outgoing patients of the ANMED emergency room were also provided with a ride home in certain instances in order to make room for new patients.

    Maj. Todd Tillirson, operations officer in the Anderson area for the Guard during the winter storm, noted that they had a plan going in to the operation, but that they remained flexible in order to meet the needs of the city and county of Anderson. He also emphasized the importance of on-going relationship building among the Guard and other agencies within the city and county.

    “It’s the teamwork, cooperation, and relationship building with the city and county that has been in process here for several years that makes the response to events like this so successful,” said Tillirson.

    Mark Henderson, the Medshore compliance and professional standards coordinator for the state of S.C., noted that the four-wheel drive capability provided by the Humvees lowered response times during the storm while allowing paramedics and emergency medical technicians to maintain the standard of care they normally provide, as they were able to carry along the same equipment that would have been on a standard ambulance.

    Taylor Jones, deputy chief of Anderson Emergency Services, said that the Guard soldiers did a great job during the winter storm operations. “They were an invaluable asset and provided a high level of service,” said Jones.

    By the end of the operation late Friday morning, the Guard had answered 113 calls in support of the Anderson County Emergency Services Division and associated agencies, and had driven more than 1,100 miles across the county during the operation among the five vehicles that were provided.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 02.14.2014
    Date Posted: 02.15.2014 09:18
    Story ID: 120696
    Location: ANDERSON, SC, US 

    Web Views: 319
    Downloads: 1

    PUBLIC DOMAIN