[UPDATED] A group of eight first responders from other parts of the state has arrived at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena to assist with the local COVID-19 surge, hospital officials said Monday.
The paramedics and emergency medical technicians will “volunteer their skills toward our COVID-19 surge response for the next several weeks,” the hospital said in a written statement.
“These individuals will be working side by side with our care teams primarily in our emergency department tents, but will be deployed throughout our hospital as needed,” the statement said.
Four of the first responders were dispatched from the Napa Fire Department in Northern California, according to the agency. It was not clear Tuesday what agency the other volunteers belonged to.
“They are working 12-hour shifts,” according to a statement from the Napa Fire Department. “All who were deployed received their first vaccination prior to leaving. We wish them well and urge all to continue to be vigilant with this virus.”
Help for the hospital help was sent under a statewide mutual assistance agreement between fire agencies.
“This is a mutual aid program similar to what we see every year during wildland fires,” said Pasadena Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian.
“More recent examples include a Pasadena battalion chief leading a strike team to Napa in 2017 for the Tubbs Fire for 14 days. Then again, they responded to Napa and Calistoga on the Kincade Fire in October 2019. Pasadena also sent two engines to Napa in October 2019 on the Glass Fire.”
During last year’s Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest, firefighters from Napa responded to help, she said.
“These are success stories that demonstrate how the California statewide mutual aid system works so well for us all,” said Derderian.
At Huntington Hospital, where officials reported treating 207 COVID-19m patients on Tuesday, with 44 of them being treated in intensive care units, staff was grateful for the helping hands.
“We are proud and grateful to welcome these heroes to our campus and into our extended Huntington family,” according to the hospital statement.