Stanislaus Regional Transit Authority (StanRTA) assisted in evacuating residents from the Newman San Luis skilled nursing facility on Monday, January 9, in response to potential flooding from Orestimba Creek.

The regional transit system communicated with the Stanislaus Emergency Operations Command (SEOC) a few days prior requesting their potential assistance in evacuating residents affected by relentless storms and flooding in the area. StanRTA was honored to pledge any help it could provide when needed. On Monday, the request came in around 1:00 p.m. to assist in evacuating residents from the nursing facility to various locations. Hector Medina, the StanRTA Customer Service Manager, began gathering information about the evacuees to establish safe travel plans. Medina with the assistance of Paratransit Operations Manager, Deaundra Pettis-Jimerson, reached out to drivers Kevin Burch, Lorianne Murrilo, and Road Supervisor Andrea Stagnaro to assist. Two vehicles were dispatched at 2:16 p.m. to the nursing facility once the number of passengers was determined.

“Our dispatchers, supervisors, and drivers are members of this community, and I would say their dedication to residents in the area is heroic every day, but in emergencies such as these, they truly go above and beyond,” said Adam Barth, StanRTA CEO. “The calm and professional service they provided was simply outstanding.”

Multiple vehicles from various organizations were called to the facility, including Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), Fire, and the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Reports indicate over 40 people were evacuated. Drivers Burch and Stagnaro transported four residents in wheelchairs to selected locations where they could continue receiving care.“

“I had a mixture of pride and accomplishment and was happy to help where I was needed,” said Burch, of the few hours he participated in the evacuation.

“Kevin and Andrea were resolute on the comfort and safety of their passengers,” said Barth. “It was wonderful to see our relatively new agency dispatched to help the community in an emergency.” StanRTA remains on call during the continued storms and is committed to transporting residents to safety as needed.

StanRTA was formed in 2021 through the consolidation of Modesto Area Express and Stanislaus Regional Transit and is the provider of local and regional public transit in Stanislaus County. StanRTA operates fixed-route, demand-response, and commuter services. For more information, visit www.stanrta.org or call 209-527-4900.

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