Williamson Medical Center sends emergency responders to help those affected by Hurricane Irma

By: Johnny Bradigan

FRANKLIN, Tenn.—Three members of Williamson Medical Center’s EMS Department are on their way to Florida this Friday, to aid first responders there as Hurricane Irma approaches the state.

Clyde Prater, EMS Supervisor/CCPM, James Bourland, EMS Supervisor/CCPM, and Robert Skinner, Paramedic; are all part of Williamson Medical Center’s EMS Strike Team, which is a group of specialized responders ready to act in times of emergency or disaster.

Prater, Bourland, and Skinner are expected to spend 14 days in Florida. They will stage with other responder agencies, most likely in Tallahassee, and will then be dispatched to other areas or emergencies as the need arises.

“We’re glad they can go down and serve the citizens of Florida,” said Mark King, Assistant Director of the EMS Department. “This gives Williamson Medical Center the opportunity to be represented in the Hurricane Irma response.”

It will be a long day of travel for Williamson Medical Center’s Strike Team. Their first stop is Murfreesboro, where they will meet other Middle Tennessee responders making the trip to serve. The collective group will then stop once more in Chattanooga for preliminary orders, before heading to their staging area in Florida.

The local agencies heading down this weekend are doing so at the command of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), with direct coordination by the Tennessee Department of Health-Division of EMS. The agency divides Tennessee’s counties into regional districts. Williamson County falls within Region 5, and Prater will serve as the Team Lead for Region 5 teams on this mission.

Williamson Medical Center’s Strike Team has helped in times of emergency before, according to King. A couple of years ago, members were deployed to Kentucky to serve after a devastating ice storm. The Strike Team also helped coordinate assistance to the deadly 2016 wildfires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

King is proud to talk about the volunteer spirit of Williamson Medical Center’s EMS being ever-present.

“We have many people who have been through the Strike Team training and are prepared to go. Matter of fact, we had a lot more volunteers that wanted to go than we had positions to send.”

While these three responders will be away for a couple of weeks, King made sure to affirm that people in Williamson County will not see any interruption in emergency services at home.

“We’re still prepared here. We’ve got all of our ambulances staffed and personnel on the street. 911 responses will still be maintained in Williamson County without a hitch,” he said.



Williamson Medical Center’s EMS runs ambulance services for Williamson County, and is a leading emergency responder agency in Tennessee. With more than 100 highly-trained EMS professionals on staff, The EMS Department maintains 10 stations throughout the county; strategically located to keep response times minimal. Members work alongside other responder agencies and volunteer fire departments, offering training and assistance. EMS team members also teach classes in hands only-CPR to schools, churches, and other civic groups. The EMS Department has received many awards and recognition for its service, including the American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Gold Award, and the EMS Star of Life Award, presented by the Tennessee Emergency Medical Services for Children Foundation.


Williamson Medical Center offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services, 24-hour emergency care, preventive health screenings and wellness activities. Services offered by Williamson Medical Center are developed to provide the most cost-effective, convenient and accessible health care possible. More than 600 physicians represent 70 medical specialties and sub-specialties. The caliber of physicians and care at Williamson Medical Center offers patients a level of expertise and sophistication one expects to find at larger facilities, but with compassion and convenience unique to WMC. In 2015, the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital Vanderbilt at Williamson Medical Center opened on our campus, adding dedicated pediatric emergent and inpatient care to our offerings. With our fully equipped pediatric rooms, we are now able to provide focused, specific care to the children of our community as well as their parents. For more information visit www.williamsonmedicalcenter.org.

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