MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. - For nearly a month, several hospitals in the Bay Area have been overwhelmed with the amount of COVID-positive patients.
In Manatee County, they are getting a helping hand — with the help of FEMA.
“We are working with heroes,” says Kimberly Hatchel, Chief Nurse Officer at Blake Medical Hospital.
Like the rest of Florida, Blake Medical received a massive increase of COID-positive patients in July.
“The ICU is consistently running full at this point,” says Hatchel.
The hospital received 36 nurses from FEMA to help with the influx of patients.
“It is an experience I am grateful to have,” says Amanda Johnson, a FEMA nurse.
Johnson lives in Ohio, but says when the pandemic hit, she know she had to leave her husband and four children to help others in need.
“I have to go out and help,” says Johnson.
She has spent months in New York City, Miami and Bradenton.
“I am grateful to help everyone,” says Johnson. “It’s amazing to see so many strangers come together as a team.”
Blake Medical staff tell Spectrum Bay News 9, it is up to the state to determine how long the FEMA nurses stay, but are thankful to have received the much-needed help.
“These nurses work tirelessly, it’s great that we have FEMA to help give them a break,” says Hatchel.