Missouri Governor Mike Parson says the state will triple the number mutual aid ambulances that provide long-haul patient transfers in an attempt to reduce COVID-19 cases that are straining hospitals.
There will be 30 ambulances and 60 trained personnel scheduled to begin arriving in the state Friday. The Governor says the decision is being made because ambulance strike teams in Springfield have been effective in easing the load of local hospitals. The new ambulance strike teams include 20 advanced life-support ambulances, five basic life-support ambulances, five specialty care ambulances, and required medical and support personnel. They are expected to begin transporting patients as early as Saturday. The teams are tasked with operating anywhere there is a critical need in Missouri through Sept. 5.
One of the strike teams will be stationed in the northwest region of the state. There will also be one in northeast Missouri and one in the Kansas City area.
Arkansas ambulance teams have been used in this type of strategy to aid in southwest Missouri. Since they began working in Missouri, the 10 ambulances have logged more than 53,000 miles on 223 patient transports. Some of those transports required roundtrips of seven to nine hours or more.