In response to a Thursday evening request for personnel and equipment received by the Kentucky Emergency Operations Center and the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services for Kentucky’s help to assist with the Hurricane Rita relief effort, the Barren-Metcalfe County EMS has deployed four paramedics to join the Kentucky contingent of rescue workers.

The Barren-Metcalfe County Paramedics deployed for the initial relief effort include Jason Blakley, Charles Eatmon Jr., Bill Milan and John Poynter. In addition, the local group transported IV fluids and supplies provided by T.J. Samson Community Hospital to treat hurricane victims. They joined with other Kentucky rescuers, consisting of some 27 ambulances and other rescue vehicles, along with some 70 other rescue workers from all over the state, at the Medical Center at Bowling Green at 6 p.m. Thursday evening. After a sign-in and briefing, the entire group formed a convoy that was escorted to I-65 by the Bowling Green Police Department bound for Austin, Texas.

The trip is expected to take 14-16 hours. The Kentucky group will be based at the 51st Street Armory in Austin, Texas, until Hurricane Rita passes. After that, they will be deployed as needed to assist in the relief effort working in rotating 12-hour shifts.

Regarding the local role in the hurricane relief effort, Barren-Metcalfe County EMS Director Mike Swift offered the following comment: “I am very proud of all of our employees, both those being deployed and those who will be taking up the slack while others are gone, our community leaders and our ambulance board members that have allowed us to participate in this vital mission. I also appreciate and am most grateful for all of the community support that has been extended to us and hope that our community will keep all of the rescuers and the people affected by both Hurricane Katrina and now Hurricane Rita in their thoughts and prayers.”

The Barren-Metcalfe County EMS Paramedics, along with the Kentucky group, are currently scheduled to return on Wednesday with additional group deployments subject to the need for additional assistance.

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