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Health

Federal ambulance crews coming to Maine to support hospitals straining under COVID surge

Steve Littleson
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP
Steve Littleson, president of Central Maine Medical Center meets with staff and National Guard, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, in Lewiston, Maine. Littleson said the National Guard's help will allow the hospital to open a swing bed unit of the hospital that has been closed due to a nursing shortage.

Federal ambulance crews are being deployed to eight hospitals in Maine as the state continues to grapple with a record number of COVID patients.

President Joe Biden made the announcement during a speech Tuesday afternoon about steps his administration is taking to fight the COVID-19 omicron variant.

"We'll send dozens of ambulances to New York and Maine because COVID is spreading very rapidly," he said.

In a statement, Gov. Janet Mills says the EMS crews will be deployed to the state's four largest hospitals as well as Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford, Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, and St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor.

The crews will transport patients to facilities that have beds available. When they're not transporting patients, the EMS workers will help emergency departments care for COVID-19 patients.

Mills says she's awaiting details from the Biden Administration on when the teams will arrive.