CORDELE, GA (WALB) - Evacuees from coastal Georgia, including hospital patients, continue heading home from Cordele, after being forced out by Hurricane Matthew. Crisp County helped evacuees in several ways over the past few days, including providing healthcare.
When patients from the coastal area of our state needed a place to stay, it didn't take long for medical personnel in our area to step up. Now, those patients are heading back to the facilities they came from.
"We were very open-armed. We were ready for the opportunity to accept these evacuees," said Brooke Marshall, Crisp Regional Community Relations Director.
Everything will soon return to normal for the eight patients brought to Cordele during mandatory hurricane evacuations.
"They have actually started making plans to send the rest of the patients home, back to Hinesville and Brunswick," Marshall said.
As the damage is assessed along the coast, Crisp Regional Hospital and Crisp Regional Nursing and Rehabilitation staff will assess how well they overcame obstacles provided by the influx of patients.
"Four of them were dialysis patients. In order to keep their treatment from being uninterrupted, we added more staff, so that we would be able to help them during their time of need, and help our patients as well," Marshall said.
Most of the patients are returning to the coast the way they came, via ambulance. Crisp County EMS sent two ambulances, with four paramedics and EMTs to safely transport patients to the area last week.
"We do these things on a daily basis. Generally, it's in our home county, but any time something like this occurs, we have to rely on one another and help," said David Edwards, Crisp Co. EMS Director.
Moving forward, the hospital will use its experience following Hurricane Matthew to improve and better serve patients, should something like this happen again.
"Once everybody is out, we'll evaluate what we did, what we did wrong, and then we'll make plans to better assist in the future," Marshall said.
Marshall says the hospital will absolutely take in more patients if another emergency like this occurs.