Mississippi Center for Emergency Services, AirCare prepared for hurricane season

Focused On Health

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Leaders with the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) said they’re prepared to respond to hurricanes this year. Officials with the Mississippi Center for Emergency Services at UMMC said they’re reviewing their longstanding game plans.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a 60 percent chance of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season for 2021.

MCES was created in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The disaster exposed the absence of a statewide emergency communication system, potentially paralyzing deployment of medical teams and equipment and the ability of first responders to efficiently coordinate rescues with delivery of medical care.

According to officials, MCES takes a leading role in hurricanes or any disaster, coordinating the state’s critical care transport and emergency medical response, from treating the injured in the field to determining what hospitals are operational, whether they can take patients and what kind, and if not, where and how patients should be transported depending on ambulance availability and severity of injuries or illness.

MCES also coordinates with the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

Leaders with AirCare said they’re also ready to respond to hurricanes. They have bases in Greenwood, Columbus, Meridian and Jackson.

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