When the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) made the call for help from Baton Rouge early Sunday morning, EJGH Director of Emergency Management Mike Guillot and his team sprang into action.
With flood waters rapidly rising higher than expected following historic rain fall this past Friday, Ochsner Medical Center in Baton Rouge was looking for assistance in evacuating patients from their rooms to safer grounds in the New Orleans area.
East Jefferson General Hospital (EJGH) and its Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team were there to answer the call.
“It’s what we train for and it was the right thing to do,” said Guillot of his actions. “We knew we were in a really good position to go up there and help out so that’s what we did. In times like these it’s ‘all hands on deck’ to keep people safe. I’m just glad we could help rescue the individuals we did and help keep a bad situation from getting much worse.”
Following the heaviest rainfall on Saturday afternoon, it appeared flood waters would keep from reaching the hospital, but with rivers cresting much higher than originally anticipated, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) made the call to Guillot to ready his team.
Early Sunday morning, the EJGH Surge MCI bus, with a capacity of 12 stretcher patients, was loaded with essential medical supplies and headed east. The crew then staged itself on I-12, just one mile from the troubled Ochsner Baton Rouge campus. Army trucks were on hand to load patients two to three at a time and transported them to East Jefferson’s Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) bus, where they were met by Dr. Joseph Uddo and other volunteers from EJGH.
Once all 12 beds in the bus were full, the patients were transported safely to waiting hospital rooms at Ochsner facilities in the New Orleans area.
“This was a major rescue effort,” added Guillot. “I’m so proud of our team at East Jefferson General Hospital for stepping up and doing our part to help out a fellow hospital during their time of need.”