EMS

Limo Service Operator Charged in Tragic New York Crash

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 04:54

COBLESKILL, N.Y. (AP) — A limousine service operator was charged Wednesday with criminally negligent homicide in a crash that killed 20 people, while police continued investigating what caused the wreck and whether anyone else will face charges.

Nauman Hussain, 28, showed little emotion as he was arraigned Wednesday evening in an Albany-area court, and he ignored shouted questions from reporters as he left after posting $150,000 bond. A judge had entered a not guilty plea for him.

Earlier, his lawyer said that Hussain wasn't guilty and that police were rushing to judgment in investigating Saturday's stretch limo wreck .

But State Police Superintendent George Beach said Hussain hired a driver who shouldn't have been behind the wheel of such a car, and the vehicle shouldn't have been driven after state inspectors deemed it "unserviceable" last month.

"The sole responsibility for that motor vehicle being on the road on Saturday rests with Nauman Hussain," Beach said, though he noted that investigators continue looking into whether anyone else should be held accountable in the crash.

Hussain's car was packed with luggage when he was stopped Wednesday on a highway near Albany, Schoharie County District Attorney Susan Mallery said.

Hussain's lawyer, Lee Kindlon, said his client felt unsafe at home because he'd gotten threats.

The company, Prestige Limousine, has come under intense scrutiny since a 19-seater limo ran a stop sign and plowed into a parked SUV at the bottom of a long hill Saturday. The impact killed two pedestrians and 18 people in the limo, which was taking a group to a birthday bash.

Kindlon said his client handled only marketing duties and phone calls, while his father ran the company, though police called Hussain its operator.

"My client is not guilty," Kindlon said. "The police jumped the gun in charging him with any crime."

Under New York law, criminally negligent homicide involves not perceiving a substantial, unjustifiable risk that leads to someone's death. It's punishable by up to four years in prison.

Categories: EMS

Limo Service Operator Charged in Tragic New York Crash

JEMS - News - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 04:54

COBLESKILL, N.Y. (AP) — A limousine service operator was charged Wednesday with criminally negligent homicide in a crash that killed 20 people, while police continued investigating what caused the wreck and whether anyone else will face charges.

Nauman Hussain, 28, showed little emotion as he was arraigned Wednesday evening in an Albany-area court, and he ignored shouted questions from reporters as he left after posting $150,000 bond. A judge had entered a not guilty plea for him.

Earlier, his lawyer said that Hussain wasn't guilty and that police were rushing to judgment in investigating Saturday's stretch limo wreck .

But State Police Superintendent George Beach said Hussain hired a driver who shouldn't have been behind the wheel of such a car, and the vehicle shouldn't have been driven after state inspectors deemed it "unserviceable" last month.

"The sole responsibility for that motor vehicle being on the road on Saturday rests with Nauman Hussain," Beach said, though he noted that investigators continue looking into whether anyone else should be held accountable in the crash.

Hussain's car was packed with luggage when he was stopped Wednesday on a highway near Albany, Schoharie County District Attorney Susan Mallery said.

Hussain's lawyer, Lee Kindlon, said his client felt unsafe at home because he'd gotten threats.

The company, Prestige Limousine, has come under intense scrutiny since a 19-seater limo ran a stop sign and plowed into a parked SUV at the bottom of a long hill Saturday. The impact killed two pedestrians and 18 people in the limo, which was taking a group to a birthday bash.

Kindlon said his client handled only marketing duties and phone calls, while his father ran the company, though police called Hussain its operator.

"My client is not guilty," Kindlon said. "The police jumped the gun in charging him with any crime."

Under New York law, criminally negligent homicide involves not perceiving a substantial, unjustifiable risk that leads to someone's death. It's punishable by up to four years in prison.

Categories: EMS

Four Killed, 20 Injured in Collapse in UAE

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 04:46

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Police in Bahrain say four people have been killed and some 20 others were injured when a building collapsed in the island kingdom.

The Interior Ministry said that an "old building" collapsed Tuesday in Salmaniya, a neighborhood of Bahrain's capital, Manama.

The two-story residential building reportedly housed foreign laborers.

Police said the injuries were "medium and serious," without elaborating, and that 60 rescuers with firetrucks and ambulances responded.

The police updated the casualty figures Wednesday on Twitter, saying that three bodies were retrieved at the site, while one victim died at a hospital.

All contents © copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Categories: EMS

Four Killed, 20 Injured in Collapse in UAE

JEMS - News - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 04:46

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Police in Bahrain say four people have been killed and some 20 others were injured when a building collapsed in the island kingdom.

The Interior Ministry said that an "old building" collapsed Tuesday in Salmaniya, a neighborhood of Bahrain's capital, Manama.

The two-story residential building reportedly housed foreign laborers.

Police said the injuries were "medium and serious," without elaborating, and that 60 rescuers with firetrucks and ambulances responded.

The police updated the casualty figures Wednesday on Twitter, saying that three bodies were retrieved at the site, while one victim died at a hospital.

All contents © copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Categories: EMS

Shark Bite Training Offered to Cape Cod Town

JEMS - News - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 04:42

ORLEANS, Mass. (AP) — The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy is teaming with a Massachusetts coastal town to provide first aid training for shark attacks.

The "Stop the Bleed" program will begin Oct. 18 and taught for free by Orleans Fire Rescue officials. New England Cable News reports the program is meant to help people in life-threatening emergencies by teaching them the basic techniques of bleeding control.

On Sept. 15, 26-year-old Arthur Medici died after being attacked by a shark at Newcomb Hollow Beach in Wellfleet. He was the state's first fatality from a shark attack in more than 80 years.

Orleans Fire Chief Tony Pike says first response is critical in saving lives.

Atlantic White Shark Conservancy Chief Executive Officer Cynthia Wigren says shark coastal populations are higher during September and October.

All contents © copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Categories: EMS

Nitrous Oxide Use in Florida EMS

JEMS - News - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 04:30

SARASOTA, Fla. (10 News WTSP) - Sarasota paramedics ready to treat your pain a little differently. Instead of reaching for the opioids, you're going to get nitrous oxide.

 

Categories: EMS

Virginia Fire Department Searches for Backup EMS Provider

JEMS - News - Thu, 10/11/2018 - 04:23

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WSLS 10) - Martinsville continues search for backup EMS provider. 

In the time being, the city's part-time firefighters will help cover medical calls.

 

Categories: EMS

Trek Medics to Partner with the Government of Malawi and World Bank in Nation's First Emergency Response System

JEMS - News - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 16:13

Trek Medics is very proud to announce the launch of a new program beginning next month in partnership with the Malawi Roads Authority, the Malawi Ministry of Health and the World Bank's Global Road Safety Facility. The purpose of this partnership will be to design and implement a dispatch and communications system to support the implementation of a new emergency response system along a 250-mile stretch of the North-South Corridor highway in Malawi.

This first-of-its-kind program will ensure that road traffic injury victims traveling along the North-South Corridor between the northern capital of Lilongwe and Blantyre in the south will have immediate access to rapid emergency care and transport by a newly trained force of Malawian emergency responders. The project will last 15 months and is hoped to serve as proof of concept for a larger national emergency medical system.

We're very excited for this phenomenal opportunity, years in the making, made possible in large part thanks to a grant from the Open Road Alliance who stepped up at the last minute to ensure it would happen.

In addition to working side-by-side with the Malawian government to implement their first emergency response system, it's our sincere desire to see this innovative program serve as an effective model for other countries who are overwhelmed by the economic, societal and personal impacts of road traffic injuries.

Stay tuned as we'll be sharing updates from Malawi in the coming weeks!

Categories: EMS

Global EMS Community Looks to NAEMSP for Medical Director Training

JEMS - News - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 15:46

OVERLAND PARK, KS – The National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) has been invited to provide international medical director training at DevelopingEM 2018. EMS medical directors from across the United States will teach the NAEMSP International Medical Directors Overview Course on December 2, 2018. The one-day pre-conference workshop will focus on enhancing physicians’ expertise in real-world EMS issues.

DevelopingEM is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the practical delivery of emergency medicine and critical care education. Its 2018 conference will take place December 3-6 in Fiji, where it will sponsor local practitioners to attend with a ratio of one sponsored delegate for every two paid registrants. With its International Medical Directors Overview Course, NAEMSP aims to help medical directors on a global level understand how EMS functions within the broader emergency care system.

“NAEMSP brings a breadth of real-world experience to DevelopingEM’s critical mission of providing meaningful training to medical professionals in developing regions,” says Brent Myers, NAEMSP president. “We are honored to have the opportunity to help support the global EMS community.”

The workshop will be led by Dr. Joelle Donofrio, DO, associate medical director for San Diego Fire-Rescue and EMS medical director for Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego; Dr. Jeremiah Escajeda, who is the medical director for several EMS agencies in the Pittsburgh area, associate medical director for Pittsburgh EMS and the NAEMSP Education Committee Chair; and Jane Brice, MD, MPH, associate medical director for Orange County EMS and the immediate past president of NAEMSP.

NAEMSP is comprised of physicians and EMS professionals dedicated to providing leadership and fostering excellence in the subspecialty of EMS medicine and out-of-hospital care. NAEMSP is a leading healthcare advocate, most recently securing the passage of the Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act.

Categories: EMS

Ada County Paramedics Receive American Heart Association Award for Medical Advances in Heart Attack Patients

JEMS - News - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 15:36

BOISE, IDAHO —  Ada County Paramedics was honored today with the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Mission: Lifeline® Quality Achievement Award for improving protocols for patients with STEMI (ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction) heart attacks.

“When Ada County Paramedics identify a STEMI heart attack, we’re able to quickly alert the hospital cardiologist and often bypass the Emergency Department altogether, taking the patient directly to the cardiac cath lab for immediate treatment—which can save precious minutes,” said Ada County Paramedics’ Deputy Chief Peder Humlen-Ahearn.

Each year, more than 250,000 people experience an STEMI, which is the most deadly type of heart attack caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.

“EMTs and paramedics play a vital part in the system of care for those who have heart attacks,” said Tim Henry, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “Since they often are the first medical point of contact, they can shave precious minutes of life-saving treatment time by activating the emergency response system that alerts hospitals. We applaud Ada County Paramedics for achieving this award that shows it meets evidence-based guidelines in the treatment of people who have severe heart attacks.”

“We’re pleased to receive this prestigious award for four sequential years, but positively impacting our STEMI patients’ lives is the greatest reward of all,” Humlen-Ahearn said.

About Ada County Paramedics
For more information, visit www.AdaCountyParamedics.org or call (208) 287-2962. You can also like Ada County Paramedics on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/AdaCountyParamedic or follow them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AdaParamedics.

Categories: EMS

Small, Portable AED Wins ACEP Innovation Challenge

JEMS - News - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 14:02

DENVER, CO - Medical device startup HeartHero won the AngelMD InnovatED Innovation Challenge at the 50th American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Conference and Trade Show. In addition to winning the competitive pitch, HeartHero received an opportunity to open a syndicate funding round with AngelMD, connected with some of the country’s top emergency physicians and spoke to companies that invest in lifesaving technology.

More than 60 emergency medicine startups applied to participate in the InnovatED Innovation Challenge. A committee of fifty emergency physicians selected eight finalists -- four medical device and four digital health startups – to present during the competition. Following the pitches, a panel of emergency physicians along with votes from the audience determined the winners.

By building a next-generation automated external defibrillator (AED), HeartHerowill close the gap between sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and when help arrives. The majority of people who suffer an out-of-the-hospital SCA die because EMS is unable to arrive within the critical window of time to save victims. With its portable, easy-to-use AED, HeartHero aims to help bystanders and family members save lives by strengthening the chain of survival.

Earlier in this year, HeartHero closed a $1.5 million seed-round of funding, which included a $250,000 grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) and $250,000 from PIC Investment Group Inc., a Canadian Family Office. The company is working to make this lifesaving technology more accessible and attractive to the consumer market, while simultaneously creating a better alternative for existing business and institutional markets.

Categories: EMS

50 Dead in Kenya Bus Crash

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 06:14

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — At least 50 people were killed when their bus left the road, rolled down a slope and crashed in western Kenya, an official said Wednesday, with the roof of the bus ripped off.

Around 15 survivors from the bus that was headed from the capital, Nairobi, to the western town of Kakamega were receiving treatment at a hospital in Kericho, Rift Valley regional police boss Francis Munyambu said. The accident occurred around 4 a.m. and seven children were among the dead, he added.

"The information we have is that the driver lost control," Kericho County police commander James Mugera told The Associated Press.

The bus was not licensed to operate at night and its owners will faces charges, regional traffic police boss Zero Arome said. "It is very unfortunate what has happened and action will be taken," he said.

Kenya has struggled to reduce the rising number of road accidents as more people in the growing middle class acquire vehicles.

According to government statistics, around 3,000 Kenyans die every year in road accidents. In the 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety, the World Health Organization said Kenyan roads are among the most dangerous in the world, claiming around 29.1 lives per 100,000 people.

In 2013 the government re-introduced breathalyzers but had to remove them again after court orders barred police from charging drivers based on readings from the devices.

In an article for the Elephant online publication in November, commentator Patrick Gathara criticized the government's "knee-jerk responses such as the banning of night buses, enforcement of speed limits, seat belts and speed governors on public transport vehicles.

"Reactionary legal measures are quickly announced in the aftermath of a particularly horrific crash, with little research, forethought or long-term planning, and just as quickly forgotten," Gathara wrote.

___

Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP_Africa

Categories: EMS

50 Dead in Kenya Bus Crash

JEMS - News - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 06:14

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — At least 50 people were killed when their bus left the road, rolled down a slope and crashed in western Kenya, an official said Wednesday, with the roof of the bus ripped off.

Around 15 survivors from the bus that was headed from the capital, Nairobi, to the western town of Kakamega were receiving treatment at a hospital in Kericho, Rift Valley regional police boss Francis Munyambu said. The accident occurred around 4 a.m. and seven children were among the dead, he added.

"The information we have is that the driver lost control," Kericho County police commander James Mugera told The Associated Press.

The bus was not licensed to operate at night and its owners will faces charges, regional traffic police boss Zero Arome said. "It is very unfortunate what has happened and action will be taken," he said.

Kenya has struggled to reduce the rising number of road accidents as more people in the growing middle class acquire vehicles.

According to government statistics, around 3,000 Kenyans die every year in road accidents. In the 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety, the World Health Organization said Kenyan roads are among the most dangerous in the world, claiming around 29.1 lives per 100,000 people.

In 2013 the government re-introduced breathalyzers but had to remove them again after court orders barred police from charging drivers based on readings from the devices.

In an article for the Elephant online publication in November, commentator Patrick Gathara criticized the government's "knee-jerk responses such as the banning of night buses, enforcement of speed limits, seat belts and speed governors on public transport vehicles.

"Reactionary legal measures are quickly announced in the aftermath of a particularly horrific crash, with little research, forethought or long-term planning, and just as quickly forgotten," Gathara wrote.

___

Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP_Africa

Categories: EMS

Five Dead, 35 Injured in Train Derailment in India

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 06:07

LUCKNOW, India (AP) — Police say an express train has partially derailed in northern India, killing five passengers and injuring dozens more.

Police director general OP Singh said rescuers have responded to the scene where the train's engine and five cars derailed about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. It occurred at a railway station in Rae Bareli, 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state.

At least 35 passengers were injured and taken to hospitals.

Singh said buses were used to take the passengers to a safe place

The derailment occurred when the rain was entering the station zone, but the cause wasn't clear.

All contents © copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Categories: EMS

Five Dead, 35 Injured in Train Derailment in India

JEMS - News - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 06:07

LUCKNOW, India (AP) — Police say an express train has partially derailed in northern India, killing five passengers and injuring dozens more.

Police director general OP Singh said rescuers have responded to the scene where the train's engine and five cars derailed about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. It occurred at a railway station in Rae Bareli, 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state.

At least 35 passengers were injured and taken to hospitals.

Singh said buses were used to take the passengers to a safe place

The derailment occurred when the rain was entering the station zone, but the cause wasn't clear.

All contents © copyright 2018 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Categories: EMS

New York Limo Driver’s Family Questions Vehicle Safety

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 05:59

SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (AP) — Relatives of the limousine driver involved in a crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York said Tuesday they believe he was unwittingly assigned an unsafe vehicle.

The family of Scott Lisinicchia released a statement through a lawyer shortly after another attorney representing the limousine company, Prestige Limousine, said the driver might have been unfamiliar with the rural road.

Lisinicchia was driving the limousine that ran through a stop sign Saturday at the bottom of a T-intersection on a rural road 25 miles west of Albany. Two pedestrians and all 18 people in the limo celebrating a woman's birthday died.

The statement from Lisinicchia's lawyer said he would never have "knowingly put others in harm's way" and cautioned against jumping to conclusions.

"The family believes that unbeknownst to him he was provided with a vehicle that was neither roadworthy nor safe for any of its occupants," according to the statement from Grant & Longworth.

Prestige Limousine has been criticized for maintaining vehicles rife with violations and for employing a driver lacking a commercial license. The deadly crash also has shined fresh light on the business owner, a former FBI informant.

The limousine that ran the stop sign was cited for code violations Sept. 4, including a problem with the antilock brake system malfunction indicator system. Four of the Gansevoort, New York-based company's limos were cited for 22 maintenance violations this year, though none were deemed critical.

"Those safety issues had been addressed and corrected," attorney Lee Kindlon, who represents Prestige, told CBS News in a segment Tuesday. "Not all infractions are major. A lot of these things are minor and were fixed."

State Department of Transportation spokesman Joseph Morrissey said a sticker was placed on the vehicle after the September inspection declaring it "unserviceable." He said Kindlon's assertion that the code violations had been corrected and the vehicle cleared for service was "categorically false."

Categories: EMS

New York Limo Driver’s Family Questions Vehicle Safety

JEMS - News - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 05:59

SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (AP) — Relatives of the limousine driver involved in a crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York said Tuesday they believe he was unwittingly assigned an unsafe vehicle.

The family of Scott Lisinicchia released a statement through a lawyer shortly after another attorney representing the limousine company, Prestige Limousine, said the driver might have been unfamiliar with the rural road.

Lisinicchia was driving the limousine that ran through a stop sign Saturday at the bottom of a T-intersection on a rural road 25 miles west of Albany. Two pedestrians and all 18 people in the limo celebrating a woman's birthday died.

The statement from Lisinicchia's lawyer said he would never have "knowingly put others in harm's way" and cautioned against jumping to conclusions.

"The family believes that unbeknownst to him he was provided with a vehicle that was neither roadworthy nor safe for any of its occupants," according to the statement from Grant & Longworth.

Prestige Limousine has been criticized for maintaining vehicles rife with violations and for employing a driver lacking a commercial license. The deadly crash also has shined fresh light on the business owner, a former FBI informant.

The limousine that ran the stop sign was cited for code violations Sept. 4, including a problem with the antilock brake system malfunction indicator system. Four of the Gansevoort, New York-based company's limos were cited for 22 maintenance violations this year, though none were deemed critical.

"Those safety issues had been addressed and corrected," attorney Lee Kindlon, who represents Prestige, told CBS News in a segment Tuesday. "Not all infractions are major. A lot of these things are minor and were fixed."

State Department of Transportation spokesman Joseph Morrissey said a sticker was placed on the vehicle after the September inspection declaring it "unserviceable." He said Kindlon's assertion that the code violations had been corrected and the vehicle cleared for service was "categorically false."

Categories: EMS

Some Stay as Hurricane Michael Approaches

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 05:39

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Timothy Thomas isn't budging from his home on Ocean View Drive, even though it's directly in the path of Hurricane Michael.

Thomas, a 50-year-old air conditioning repairman, plans to defy an evacuation order and ride out the monster storm in an apartment that's just a few hundred yards from the beach and even closer to the tea-colored Grand Lagoon, which will rise as the massive storm pushes ocean water toward the coast of the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday.

An Illinois native with a beard, long hair and a streak of independence, Thomas hasn't been through a major hurricane before; he's only lived in Panama City Beach about seven years. A neighbor with far more storm experience is evacuating to higher ground.

But police aren't being pushy about enforcing the order, and Thomas figures he, his wife and their puppy will be OK since they live in a second-floor apartment. It's more than 10 feet off the ground, after all, and forecasters say the water in his area isn't supposed to rise that much. "If it does I guess we'll be swimming," he said Tuesday evening as the sky darkened overhead.

Thomas isn't alone; other residents along his street also plan to take on Michael head-on, even though authorities have told about 120,000 residents of Bay County to leave. Thomas' first-floor neighbors also plan to stay, and they're welcome upstairs if the water gets too high, Thomas said. So are his next-door neighbors and their dog.

"We've got canned food and a can opener. We have lots of water and food for the dogs, and I'm going to tape up the windows, cover the windows, just tack them up with sheets or whatever, to keep the glass from flying if that happens," he said.

As Thomas spoke, a hurricane party was going on less than 2 miles away at Buster's Beer and Bait, a dive bar popular both with locals and tourists who overwhelm the region during the summer. With Michael percolating out in the Gulf of Mexico, dozens of people gathered outside Buster's as small palm trees swayed in the breeze nearby.

Categories: EMS

Some Stay as Hurricane Michael Approaches

JEMS - News - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 05:39

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Timothy Thomas isn't budging from his home on Ocean View Drive, even though it's directly in the path of Hurricane Michael.

Thomas, a 50-year-old air conditioning repairman, plans to defy an evacuation order and ride out the monster storm in an apartment that's just a few hundred yards from the beach and even closer to the tea-colored Grand Lagoon, which will rise as the massive storm pushes ocean water toward the coast of the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday.

An Illinois native with a beard, long hair and a streak of independence, Thomas hasn't been through a major hurricane before; he's only lived in Panama City Beach about seven years. A neighbor with far more storm experience is evacuating to higher ground.

But police aren't being pushy about enforcing the order, and Thomas figures he, his wife and their puppy will be OK since they live in a second-floor apartment. It's more than 10 feet off the ground, after all, and forecasters say the water in his area isn't supposed to rise that much. "If it does I guess we'll be swimming," he said Tuesday evening as the sky darkened overhead.

Thomas isn't alone; other residents along his street also plan to take on Michael head-on, even though authorities have told about 120,000 residents of Bay County to leave. Thomas' first-floor neighbors also plan to stay, and they're welcome upstairs if the water gets too high, Thomas said. So are his next-door neighbors and their dog.

"We've got canned food and a can opener. We have lots of water and food for the dogs, and I'm going to tape up the windows, cover the windows, just tack them up with sheets or whatever, to keep the glass from flying if that happens," he said.

As Thomas spoke, a hurricane party was going on less than 2 miles away at Buster's Beer and Bait, a dive bar popular both with locals and tourists who overwhelm the region during the summer. With Michael percolating out in the Gulf of Mexico, dozens of people gathered outside Buster's as small palm trees swayed in the breeze nearby.

Categories: EMS

Florida Panhandle Braces for Hurricane Michael

EMS-1 Major Incidents - Wed, 10/10/2018 - 05:09

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Michael roared down on the Florida Panhandle strengthening into a Category 4 hurricane early Wednesday before it crashes against the region's white-sand beaches, fishing villages and coastal communities later in the day.

The unexpected brute that quickly sprang from a weekend tropical depression grew swiftly, rising in days to a catastrophic storm. Around midday it was expected to become one of the Panhandle's worst hurricanes in memory with heavy rainfall expected along the northeastern Gulf Coast and life-threatening storm surge of up to 13 feet (4 meters).

Florida officials said roughly 375,000 people up and down the Gulf Coast had been urged or ordered to evacuate. Evacuations spanned 22 counties from the Florida Panhandle into north central Florida. But fears lingered that some failed to heed the calls to get out of Michael's way as the hard-charging storm began speeding north over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Worried meteorologists said it had the potential of becoming one of the worst storms in the history of Florida's Panhandle.

"I guess it's the worst case scenario. I don't think anyone would have experienced this in the Panhandle," meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com told The Associated Press. "This is going to have structure damaging winds along the coast and hurricane force winds inland."

University of Georgia's Marshall Shepherd, a former president of the American Meteorological Society, called it a "life-altering event" on Facebook and said he watched the storm's growth on satellite images with a pit growing in his stomach.

Franklin County Sheriff A.J. Smith near the vulnerable coast said his deputies had gone door to door in some places urging people to evacuate. "We have done everything we can as far as getting the word out," Smith said. "Hopefully more people will leave."

On the exposed coast of Florida's Big Bend, most of the waterfront homes in Keaton Beach stood vacant amid fears of a life-threatening storm surge in an area that hadn't seen a potentially catastrophic major hurricane in decades. Even so, 77-year-old resident Robert Sadousky wasn't quite ready to evacuate yet.

Categories: EMS

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