FLORIDA RESCUE WORKERS JOIN LILI RELIEF EFFORT
BY HANNAH SAPMSON
As Hurricane Lili moves into the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, a group of medical workers from South Florida prepared to head toward the storm.
Members of the South Florida Regional Disaster Medical Assistance Team got word Tuesday that they were needed by the federal government.
The 30-member team -- doctors, nurses, paramedics, firefighters and other personnel from throughout South Florida -- are set to leave this morning on a road trip that will take them to Jackson, Miss., just as the storm is expected to hit the Gulf Coast.
''When the storm hits, we're there,'' said John Caprio, team commander and battalion captain with Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue.
The group plans to set up a self-supporting field hospital. Such a mission requires serious packing, which is what some team members spent Tuesday night doing. Equipment, to be hauled in a 53-foot tractor-trailer, includes tents, showers, sinks, EKG monitors, suture kits, a portable X-ray machine and other medical necessities.
The team is a volunteer organization until the government calls for help. Then its members turn into federal employees who could spend up to 14 days working at a crisis site.
Val Deutsch, 50, a member of Miami-Dade's Urban Search and Rescue Team who lives in Pembroke Pines, offers a brief explanation for why he is part of the medical assistance team.
''Adrenaline junkie,'' said the Miami-Dade Fire-Rescue firefighter paramedic.
This team was born after Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida in August 1992. Since then, deployments have included New York for ice storms and Georgia for Hurricane Floyd. Every year, the members set up to treat people at the McDonald's Air & Sea Show in Fort Lauderdale.
Caprio said the last full deployment came for Hurricane Floyd, but members were also called to New York City after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Jay Rosenfeld, 40, of Kendall, was preparing Tuesday for his first full deployment.
''I don't know if anyone can say they're prepared for the worst,'' said Rosenfeld, systems administrator for the Hialeah Police Department. ``I'm expecting it to be very wet.''
View Poll Results: Is your department concerned with flooding in your area?
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No, we have never had a flood problem in our area.
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Thread: Flood Rescue Operations
10-29-2002, 10:33 AM #1
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- Jul 2001
Flood Rescue Operations
Last edited by H2oAirRsQ; 10-29-2002 at 02:03 PM.
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