News Releases


SC EMS Association presented with $17,500 check by Duke Energy to complete State-Wide Gap Assessment for EMS Disaster Readiness

HANAHAN, S.C., July 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- MedTrust Holdings hosted a Press Conference to focus on the important topic of emergency preparedness and the readiness for hurricane evacuations / repatriation of the Lowcountry's most vulnerable citizens from hospitals and other healthcare facilities.  While there are many agencies and organizations involved during an emergency event, in SC private ground ambulance companies, like MedTrust, play the primary role and are responsible to complete the evacuation of patients from healthcare facilities and hospitals – healthcare facilities and hospitals are responsible for the cost of these services.  Over the past few years MedTrust has been a leader in these services, marshalling its own ground ambulance resources and securing more ambulances from other SC regions and other states, establishing an Emergency Operations Command Center, and safely evacuating / repatriating thousands of patients from hospitals and other healthcare and assisted living facilities to facilities across the Southeast. 

Once an emergency is declared during a hurricane event, time is of the essence to evacuate patients with maximum resources required during the critical hours prior to the storm's landfall.  As noted by Lenna Macdonald, MedTrust's CEO, "One of the most challenging aspects of such an effort is the need to marshal resources to evacuate our most vulnerable citizens out of harm's way – those that are patients or residents in healthcare facilities.  While there are many agencies and organizations involved during an emergency event, in SC private ground ambulance companies, like MedTrust, play a primary role and are responsible to complete the evacuation of patients from healthcare facilities and hospitals – AND over the past few years MedTrust has been a leader in these services."  Securing sufficient ground ambulance capacity to evacuate all patients has been a challenge in the past but is now at a critical level post-COVID due to staffing shortages in all communities.  As noted by the MedTrust Founder, Josh Watts, "Communities can no longer commit to send to the Charleston area the same resources as in the past, unless their own community is protected and with staffing shortages, those excess resources no longer exist."  One critical resource is missing from the Lowcountry – Ambuses (Ambulance-Buses) that can evacuate / repatriate 6-12 patients at one time – a true force-multiplying resource.

Henry Lewis, Executive Director of the SC EMS Association (SCEMSA) introduced Congresswoman Nancy Mace (SC-1).  Congresswoman Mace thanked Mark Smith (SC District 99), Berkely and Charleston County EMS leaders for attending the press conference.  She also thanked the SCEMSA and the entire EMS community for their service, particularly during the critical time of hurricane evacuations / repatriations from along the coast.  During her remarks, Congresswoman Mace reflected her surprise that there were no AMBUS resources based in the most critically affected storm areas.  "I was shocked when I learned that there is not a single AMBUS on the coast that can help us in the time of an emergency to evacuate hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities and bring patients back when the emergency is over."  The Congresswoman continued "We want to work smarter not harder and do everything we can to find funding and resources available.  This is an issue on a federal, state and local level that we can work on together.  Emergencies do not have a political affiliation.  We have a great partner in Representative Mark Smith, District 99, who is also championing this cause."

"On a federal level we want to make sure we get our fair share (of funding) because the Lowcountry and the first congressional district is the 10th fastest growing district in the nation. We have more nursing homes, more hospitals and more senior living facilities because of this growth.  We are putting this issue on the radar and working with state, federal and local partners as well as making the community aware that there is a need for Ambuses," Congressman Mace concluded.

At the conclusion of Congresswoman Mace's remarks, Mandy Gattis, Project Coordinator, SCEMSA invited Rick Jiran, Senior VP of Duke Energy for a presentation of a $17,500 check to SCEMSA to fund a state-wide gap analysis of EMS disaster readiness.

"We are pleased that Congresswoman Mace has taken an interest in supporting efforts to ensure that the lowcountry has sufficient resources to support our community in the event that a hurricane evacuation / repatriation is required," stated Ms. Macdonald.  We applaud the efforts of SCEMSA to advocate on behalf of the entire EMS community to coordinate efforts for state-wide emergency preparedness.

About MedTrust:  MedTrust Holdings is driven by a mission of "improving patient outcomes through excellence in mobile healthcare."  Founded in 2012 and now operating in three southeastern states with more than 80,000 patient encounters annually, MedTrust is a premier "partner of choice" for many healthcare systems and facilities seeking reliable transport services, innovative models, value for money engagements, data-driven performance, clinically excellent and compassionate care for their patients.  We are the "employer of choice" for those who seek a positive culture focused on service, accountability, and excellence.  We believe that healthcare will continue to evolve to care delivery closer to the patient; MedTrust has launched NEXUS Healthcare to use patient-centered care models offering on-demand, on-site, needs-based and preventative care to improve patient health outcomes, reduce costs and improve overall patient wellness satisfaction.  Our value propositions have and will continue to drive our organic growth; MedTrust has been named to the Inc 5000 Fastest Growing companies list for the past 5 years.
Leadership.  Professionalism.  Compassion.

About SC EMS Association:  The South Carolina EMS Association (SCEMSA) is a nonprofit organization committed to creating a unified voice for EMS providers across all sectors in the state of South Carolina. Our mission is to advance EMS through advocacy, collaboration, and education. No matter what sector of EMS you work in, we will work for you and your colleagues to foster a safe and successful environment in which every provider can thrive.  In the last few years, specific subcommittees have been formed to address issues with workforce sustainability, shortages in certified EMS providers at all levels, health and safety of our EMS providers (to include PTSD and emotional trauma), education and access to EMS education systems, and more. Your SCEMSA subcommittees are actively engaging with other stakeholders to publish data and reports to help guide our legislative efforts and help us work with our State EMS Office to enact meaningful change and improve upon our statewide EMS systems.

Media contact:
Josh Watts

SOURCE MedTrust Medical Transport LLC