Emergency crews from Pacific NW head to California fires - KPTV - FOX 12

Emergency crews from Pacific NW head to California fires

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(courtesy American Medical Response) (courtesy American Medical Response)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

A group of EMTs and paramedics from the Pacific Northwest are heading to northern California to help with relief efforts there.

Officials with American Medical Response told FOX 12 they are sending 45 EMTs and paramedics from Portland, Spokane and Seattle to help with the devastating fires.

The crews left in waves throughout the day Thursday after gathering in Clackamas County, heading out in trucks and ambulances.

Officials said the Pacific Northwest as a whole is making up a fifth of the total deployment across the nation but noted that the remote deployments EMTs, paramedics and ambulances will not affect any of the local operations in the Portland area.

Keith Butler, a Portland operations supervisor for the special services division with AMR, told FOX 12 the crews got sent in with very short notice, but AMR was able to get everything and everyone together in just 10 hours.

“We’re happy to come out and help whenever we can. That’s what we got in this business for was to do what we do and helping others around us,” Butler said. “Whenever we do help out another state or people in need, we like to be there."

Altogether there are 100 AMR ambulances from across the country being sent to the fires to help, and officials believe the crews will usually be deployed for about two weeks.

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