Patients evacuated from islands destroyed by Hurricane Maria arr - FOX Carolina 21

Patients evacuated from islands destroyed by Hurricane Maria arrive in SC for treatment

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Patients arrive in SC. (9/29/17 FOX Carolina) Patients arrive in SC. (9/29/17 FOX Carolina)
COLUMBIA, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Response personnel from 11 South Carolina hospitals and healthcare facilities have been receiving patients evacuated from islands destroyed by Hurricane Maria since Sept 24.

Military aircraft is transporting an unknown number of patients to the Columbia airport for transport to South Carolina hospitals. The US Department of Defense's Federal Coordination Center (FCC) and the South Carolina Forestry Commission's Incident Management Team are coordinating this effort.

The teams will receive the patients and assess the urgency of their wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment, as well as track the patients that were evacuated from hospitals in the Caribbean.

“The mission is being conducted under the auspices of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), which assists in the coordination of governmental, non-profit and medical emergency resources into a unified response to natural disasters and acts of domestic terrorism. NDMS is activated when an incident is so large that it overwhelms local agencies’ ability to respond with sufficient medical aid.”

This is the first time in U.S. history that a Department of Defense staffed FCC has been activated, the release said.

The first patient arrived in South Carolina on Sunday, Sept 24 and patients have been coming in ever since.

Friday night, a military plane carrying patients from St. Croix arrived at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport. Five patients and their families were also flown in on a medical flight. Other patients were also on the flight, but they were being flown into Atlanta.

Thirteen patients were flown into Columbia over the past week, in addition to the patients flown in on Friday, however, Friday's flight was the biggest they've had so far.

The patients are coming from the US Virgin Islands as well as Puerto Rico. They will stay in South Carolina until they are able to return home.

More news: Coroner releases names of 3 killed in head-on collision near Walhalla HS

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