Cameron ambulance services still dealing with impacts of Laura, Delta

Cameron ambulance services still dealing with impacts of Laura, Delta
Cameron ambulance services still dealing with impacts of Laura, Delta(KPLC)
Published: Mar. 8, 2021 at 12:55 PM CST
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(Editor’s note: This story was originally published December 11, 2020 at 10:03 PM CST - Updated March 1 at 1:56 PM on

CAMERON, La. (Great Health Divide) - The mandatory evacuation order for all of Cameron Parish was lifted a month ago. That has allowed emergency services to resume, but months after Laura and Delta, they are still recovering.

Time is of the essence when it comes to responding to medical emergencies, but in some cases, for the ambulances in Cameron Parish, response time is still an issue months after the storms.

Byron Broussard, Medical Services Director for Cameron Parish District No. 1 explains the one location they have left standing is less than ideal.

“We’re not able to house crews in the locations that we were before, so that’s a little bit different right now. And that’s something that we work towards as recovery goes on - rebuilding those stations.”

But of the three communities they serve: Cameron, Creole and Grand Chenier, Grand Chenier has been impacted the most.

“The community we’re trying to address as immediately as possible is Grand Chenier, because they are located on the opposite side of the drawbridge. And they’re also 20 to 25 minutes from where we are.”

However, they do have air transport available.

“That’s just a call the paramedics make, whether or not this patient can be ground transported or if we should get air reinforcements.”

But even fully-staffed, their local hospital isn’t an option

“We have the same amount of medics on staff, the same amount of ambulances to respond to you. One thing you may need to understand though, is that we cannot, at this time, transport to the local hospital as they are set up as a clinic type of facility.”

Meaning their only option right now is taking patients to Lake Charles, which is an hour away.

“It hasn’t been beyond that, and then, if we have to call in air support, then that patient gets where they need to go a lot quicker.”

They hope to set up a location in Grand Chenier in the next few days, and they have three ambulances available across the three cities, 24/7.

Great Health Divide is an initiative addressing health disparities in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia funded in part by the Google News Initiative.

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