| Knoxville Sends Rural/Metro
Ambulances to Hurricane Area
August 31, 2005 - City of Knoxville Mayor
Bill Haslam and Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale announced today the
deployment of four Rural/Metro ambulances from Knox County to the
hurricane relief effort on the Gulf Coast.
The ambulances will be accompanied by eight Rural/Metro emergency
"In light of this national emergency, we are happy to offer this
assistance to the people of the Louisiana and Mississippi gulf coasts,"
Ragsdale said. "We know our citizens will support this decision.
If a disaster of this magnitude happened in our community, we would
want others to come to our aid in a similar manner."
Rural/Metro General Manager Mike Collins said the ambulances and medical
personnel will be leaving today.
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam said the city stands ready to offer its
emergency resources to assist Rural/Metro if needed.
|"We're one community and it's important for
us to work together and do anything we can to help each other and
the victims of this national tragedy," Haslam said.
The emergency personnel have been advised to take their own food and
water. Knoxville Utilities Board is providing 4,000 bottles of water
to stock the ambulances. Rural/Metro is also taking its own mobile
repeater, to allow radio communications.
In addition to the water KUB is donating to Rural/Metro, the utility
is donating 8,000 bottles of water to the water drive being conducted
by Citadel Broadcasting of Knoxville (WIVK/WNOX) and will continue
bottling water to send to the affected areas as needed.
"We're doing everything we can to help the people devastated
by this storm," Mintha Roach, KUB president and CEO said. "KUB
released four contract crews earlier this week to assist with restoration
efforts. As soon as KUB completes power restoration efforts locally,
we'll clear four KUB crews and a supervisor to help in the Gulf Coast
Officials from numerous other emergency and law enforcement agencies
in Knox County have agreed to lend their assistance should the need
arise in Knox County. These agencies include the Knox County Sheriff's
Office, Knoxville Police Department, Knoxville Fire Department, Rural/Metro
Fire Department and the Knox County Health Department, among others.
Ragsdale said Rural/Metro is responding to a request from the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) which came through the American
Ambulance Association. FEMA requested 300 ambulances from across the
"Rural/Metro has a national disaster response team whose sole
responsibility is to deploy resources where needed in times of national
crisis, so it's natural that we would be asked for this kind of help,"
Collins said. "Although our first responsibility is service to
Knox County, Mayor Ragsdale recognized the importance of our mission
and authorized this humanitarian effort."
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