In 2003, many of the state’s EMS agencies were deployed to Tyrell County, NC, to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel. A similar mass deployment occurred in 2008 during the Evans Road Wildfire in Hyde County. These two catastrophes led to the Coastal Region Evacuation and Shelter Plan in 2007, and statewide talks to create ambulance response teams in 2009.
A state task force and several work groups have since helped develop the mission plan and resource guidance. The North Carolina Ambulance Strike Team (NCAST) program was developed in several variants to meet the mission demand.
Ambulance Strike Teams (AST): Group of five ambulances, one command vehicle, and supply trailer with common communications and necessary personnel to provide medical care (ALS/CCT or BLS), evacuation support, medical monitoring, and patient movement support. Ambulance Task Forces (ATF): Combination of five ambulances, one command vehicle, and supply trailer with common communications and necessary personnel to provide medical care (ALS/CCT and BLS) evacuation support, medical monitoring, and patient movement support.
Other AST-based mission configurations:
Cape Fear Valley’s EMS service is an active program partner, serving on the AST Advisory Board, and providing leadership advisors and response instructors. In 2017, Cape Fear Valley received a supply trailer for AST-300 duty. AST 300 consists of various services from the following counties; Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson and Scotland.
To participate, personnel are required to:
Cape Fear Valley’s Cumberland, Hoke and LifeLink EMS personnel have been both strike team leaders and responders since partnering in the AST program. The missions have included:
In 2017, Cape Fear Valley received funding from the N.C. Emergency Management Domestic Preparedness Region 2 program for a Prime Mover vehicle. The new Ford-550 is equipped with a Knapheide hauler bed designed for fifth-wheel towing. The vehicle will help tow trailers we maintain in support of our missions throughout the state.
In 2006, NCOEMS positioned several trailers around the state as part of the SMAT system. The purpose was to provide decontamination assistance to hospitals and to scene responses for disaster management.
In 2012, Cape Fear Valley Health acquired the SMAT III trailer originally assigned to Hoke County years earlier. Training ensued and three years later we established a roster of more than 20 personnel to be part of our SMAT III team.
Participation on this team requires a North Carolina EMS State certification, attending specific SMAT training, and being able to function in times of high stress and in possible austere conditions.
In 2004, the city of Fayetteville approached Cape Fear Valley EMS about the creation of a USAR team in partnership with the Fayetteville Fire Department. Today, they make up the Fayetteville USAR Task-9, a multi-agency team.
EMS team qualifications consist of being a paramedic and having state rescue certification. Additional training is provided for structural collapse, trench rescue, confined space rescue, water rescue and disaster medical specialist.
The program’s goal is to maintain a 10-person roster throughout the year. EMS members of Task Force 9 have been deployed on the following missions:
The Cumberland County EMS Bike Team was formed in 2002 in an effort to provide rapid patient care during large events where traditional means of access were ineffective. This specialized team can deploy paramedics riding state-of-the-art art bicycles equipped with advanced life support equipment. The goal is to let initial responders work independently, rendering patient care until traditional EMS equipment can arrive.
The 24 paramedics assigned to the team go through a rigorous selection process and receive continued training after joining to ensure proficiency in both bike handling and patient care skills.
Our Tac-Med team was created in 2001 and currently has 23 members. It supports the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Fayetteville Police Department, Alcohol Law Enforcement and any other agency that requests assistance, including the FBI and SBI.
We provide medical support on high-risk warrants, hostage situations, and barricade situations. The team also provides medical support for Fayetteville Police Department and Cumberland County Sheriff Department on all dive missions.
Our teams average 150 calls for service per year. Training includes Basic SWAT, Tactical Medical Operator, Tactical Emergency Casualty Care.
Our Peer Support Team was created in 2017 to provide employee assistance to Cape Fear Valley MIH-CCEMS, HCEMS, and LifeLINK staff members. The one-on-one support includes professional and peer support after critical incidents and for employees experiencing a professional, personal, or family crisis.
The team’s goal is to assist in the identification and resolution of concerns or problems (personal or job related) which may adversely affect an employee’s personal or professional well-being and/or job performance.