By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Extra ambulances are on the way to help Minnesota hospitals overrun by COVID-19 patients.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says the vehicles — provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency — will begin rolling into the state Friday at 8 a.m. from Camp Ripley near Little Falls. The plan is to have them in the state for at least two weeks, but that may be extended.

The 25 ambulances, each with FEMA-provided staff, will move patients between hospitals for at least two weeks. Ten of the ambulances are designated for advanced life support, and the other 15 are for basic life support.

Hospitals will first contact local ambulance providers, and if they aren’t available, the FEMA ambulances will then respond.

Ambulance workers have been bearing the brunt of healthcare job losses in Minnesota since the pandemic started.

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