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FEMA sending teams to help areas hard-hit by Kentucky’s COVID-19 surge

Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 11:22 AM EDT
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PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency is in Kentucky to help the COVID-19 response.

FEMA will be sending ambulances to several Kentucky cities to help with patient transfers. One city is Somerset.

Emermency management director Steven Eubank says transfers between hospitals is taking up much of their time now. For example, if there isn’t a Covid bed available in Somerset, the local EMS is called to take them elsewhere.

Recently, sometimes the only place they can find a bed is out of state. Eubanks tells us it’s not uncommon to have to take patients to hospitals in Tennessee.

That time consuming chore is getting some big relief from FEMA on Friday with five ambulances to focus on these interfacility transports.

“In the case right now, the hospital is full of patients, whether it is Covid patients or other patients. Their capacity is reached,” Eubank said. “We have to find other hospitals willing to accept these patients and that’s becoming more difficult because across the state the hospitals are full.”

With the FEMA help, the local ambulance service will be able to focus more on local emergencies, whether it’s a heart attack or a car accident.

The state EMS director says FEMA is also sending strike teams to Prestonsburg and Louisville and could eventually come to Lexington as well. We are told the FEMA team will be in Pulaski County for 30 days.

A spokesperson for Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital says their capacity numbers change frequently and, right now, they have 24 Covid patients.

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