People sit on a bench along the seawall in the storm surge from Isaac, on Lakeshore Drive along Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans on Aug. 28.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
A deserted Bourbon Street in the French Quarter is shown as Hurricane Isaac makes landfall in New Orleans on Aug. 28.
Photo credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Isaac has thrown a few obstacles at New Orleans EMS crews. But, so far, they’ve been able to push them aside and respond.
“There was a time last night when we had to limit our responses. But, we’re now up and running,” said Dr. Jeff Elder, EMS medical director.
The sustained high winds have knocked trees and limbs down, and strewn debris into the streets which has delayed but not stopped crews from reaching their patients.
“Right now, they’ve been able to deal with it,” he added.
Overnight, however, ambulances were kept off some bridges due to the high winds.
“We’ve had our usual or routine EMS calls today. We haven’t had any storm-related issues or water rescues..."
All EMS personnel have been called to duty, and are split between two 12-hour shifts. They are located in various areas of the city, and some in firehouses.
“There’s only been localized flooding so far, which we can deal with,” he said, adding that Isaac, a slow mover, may be around for a while.
Trailers stocked with medical supplies are at the ready in case there’s a mass casualty incident.
Local hospitals and nursing homes prepared for power outages by getting generators ready.
Elder said the situation throughout the city is being closely monitored, and an additional 30 ambulances and crews have been deployed to the area, just in case.
“We’re doing alright now, though…”