OZARK, Ala. (WDHN) — Dale Medical Center of Ozark is the second hospital in the state of Alabama and in the Wiregrass to receive medical assistance through FEMA as the battle against COVID-19 continues.

Dale Medical, like many hospitals in the state, is overwhelmed with COVID patients, lack of ICU beds, and shortages of employees.

CEO of Dale Medical Center, Vernon Johnson says he decided to reach out for help after seeing his staff struggle with the influx of patients over and over again.

“When you start to seeing the number of patients that are entering the hospital and the acuity of those patients are very very sick, and it eats up your resources really quick,” Johnson said. “And when you’ve got nurses taking care of critically ill and one nurse trying to take care of extra patients that needed a lot of attention, that’s when we saw we’re in trouble,” Johnson said.

Dale Medical Center CEO says that every department in their hospital is being stretched thin, and with the help from this team with the Department of Defense they hope to see some relief.

“I will tell you, they talk about essential employees, there’s not one employee in this hospital that is not essential,” Johnson said. “And fortunately, this Navy team is going to be able to bring relief to our nurses, and our therapists, and even our physicians.”

This 20 person team consists of 14 nurses, four medical providers, and two respiratory therapists that will be integrated with Dale Medical’s staff to help serve the community.

“We’re here and we are excited to be here,” Medical Response Team Officer in Charge, Commander Maggie Parks said. “We look forward to helping this community during this time and really having a positive effect on this community here at large.”