Letter from Director Greg Thompson - March 31 Tornado
Before the storms of Friday, MEMS was already in Yellow Status. Yellow is an alert position where we begin planning an event based on a forecast or intel. At approximately 2:30, the storm first touched down, staying on the ground for an extended time, crossing much of the MEMS area of responsibility. For this reason, we moved to Red Status, which is an "all-hands-on-deck" recall.
As the storm lifted, we began to respond, and several neighboring agencies reached out and offered mutual aid to us. Unsure of the number of patients we had, we requested additional units from three other agencies.
With any disaster, the early information can be wildly inaccurate. For example, one news outlet reported 600 injuries, with the police department providing additional transportation because EMS was stretched thin; this was inaccurate.
There was one unfortunate death in North Little Rock; however, the overall number of other injuries for a storm this size was less than what would be expected. Nevertheless, the widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure is significant. As of this morning, we know of four MEMS staff whose homes have suffered damage but no personal injuries. MEMS had one station receive damage, and one ambulance and one supervisor truck located in Sherwood also received damage.
Today we continue to ensure that the public has their needs met as we begin the recovery process. We also work to ensure that the MEMS family who has been affected has their needs met. To the MEMS family, if you need anything we may not be aware of, please don't hesitate to ask for assistance; we are in this together!
Executive Director, MEMS