1. #1
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    Default Thoughts was a Katrina veteran

    Hi, folks. My name is Brad. I'm an EMT-Intermediate originally from the Chicago area, but now living in Boston. I spent 3 months in Waveland, MS. I got there early September 05 and stayed until early December 05. While there I saw, experienced and became involved in things that I could never imagine.

    When I arrived in Waveland, MS which ia 42 miles east of New Orleans I could not even imagine the destruction which I was seeing. Not a single building standing, no homes left erect, debris and the smell of death everywhere. It was entirely unreal.

    Waveland, population 7000, was entirely decimated from the storm. I had friends from my summer camping experience (Rainbow Gathering) who were setting up a free kitchen and feeding people. I jumped into action and set up a first aid station. Out of a small tent I was doing boo-boos, checking sugar and BP and trying to help as best as I could.

    At this point the heat was an unbearable 120 F. Our relief work was being done in a large parking lot, so the heat radiating from the blacktop was unreal.

    People kept coming into my first aid tent asking where they could see a doctor. There was a mobile ER from North Carolina about a mile up the road, but they were seeing up to 300 patients a day and waiting for 12 hours in the blazing sun. People needed a place where they could see a regular family doctor for regular needs.

    I jumped into action. I began to call, email, beg and plead to any family doc out there, "We need you now!" Thankfully, docs came in from around the US for a week at a time. We peaked at over 100 patients a day, but mostly were at 50-70 a day.

    We had all sorts of things at the 'New Waveland Clinic'. People came for medication refills, mostly. Thankfull Pfizer donated over $70,000 of medication. They sent meds for HTN, DM, antibiotis, etc. It was exactly what the docs needed.

    For 3 months I lived out of the back of my car all in order to administrate the New Waveland Clinic. It was entirely non-govenmental so I didn't have to deal with the bureaucratic side of things too much. I made sure ever doc and nurse had a temporary Mississippi license (as did I), but all in all they came and just worked.

    I went to a lot of Health Dept meetings. We also had meetings for the other free clinics in the area. All of the free clinics were non-governmental. The gov't didn't help us with almost anything. Certainly not getting new docs or nurses, meds or other supplies. It was almost like they didn't know how to help so just let us do our thing. The local EOC in Hancock County was entirely supportive of our doings, but they were so busy with other things they had little ablity to help out in the medical realm.

    Anyways, after 3 months the local hospital reopened and two local docs came back. I closed the 'New Waveland Clinic' and cried when we took down the tents. It was by far the most humbling experience of my entire life and I am glad I was able to be in service of my fellow human beings.

    The end numbers were: 5000 patient visits, $60,000 in free medicaton given away

    I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please feel free to ask questions or share experiences.

    Sincerely,

    brad stone, emt-intermediate

  2. #2
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    MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    Good job Brad. Take a look
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  3. #3
    capfiremedic
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    Default From a resident/victim/survivor

    I live in Bay ST. Louis, right at the Waveland line. I was there before during and after KATRINA with my volunteer FD also doing whatever we could.

    Thank you for coming and providing service. You made a difference!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by capfiremedic
    I live in Bay ST. Louis, right at the Waveland line. I was there before during and after KATRINA with my volunteer FD also doing whatever we could.

    Thank you for coming and providing service. You made a difference!
    I know BSL! Got off at the BSL exit on I-10 every time I came back from Gulfport with a new volunteer doc. Did you get to the old trail depot? My friend Charles and the Laudden Medical Group were staffing the free clinic there.

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    You know well the motto"Improvise,adapt and overcome".I couldn't go help when that bliffer hit due to not being Hazmatwoper certified but I did help load up trucks going that way.
    Not a lot of glory there but then,we don't become emergency responders to get our names in the paper,do we?We do it because the job needs doing.

  6. #6
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    We sure did a TON of improvising. When we needed a filing cabinet, this one fellow went to a collapsed house and saw one sticking through the rubble so he grabbed it, bleached it out and we used it for two monts as the patient charts filing cabinet.

    Often time the police helped us sift through rubble. I recall in the early days when this HUGE diesel generator showed up we needed a fuse box. The police went with a friend who is an EE and they cut one out of a downed house. Yikes!

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