WARSAW, Ind. (WANE) - A Warsaw EMS crew is set to come back to Indiana on late Thursday evening after helping evacuation efforts and then restoration efforts in New Jersey.
Update, Thursday, Nov. 1:
A lot to report. I know I can't get it all in one email. Ill share what I
can though. We were up at 0400 today. Our initial assignment was to go
back to the barrier islands with the entire Indiana strike team. We did
initially stage there and it was determined that most people were going to
shelters and there were very few who required medical attention. Not like
we anticipated. They then decided to send District 2 strike team to an
area further south in the Little Egg Harbor and Tuckerton area. We went
there to take 911 calls for an EMS service there. This service is a BLS
totally volunteer service that does around 3600 runs a year. That is 10
runs a day. They have 6 trucks and a squad. Two trucks are back up. They
cover approximately 400 square miles which consists of 4 municipalities
and has a section of the Garden State Parkway that runs through it. They
fly out a lot of patients to 3 trauma centers. They do get ALS assist
however they take 60% of the ALS patients in at a BLS level.
There were 6 people on their roster that had there homes completely
destroyed and they have continued to provide EMS service without being
able to assess the damage to their own homes. When they found out that we
were coming to help them they were estatic. Both of our Multi Township
trucks with the help of Walkerton later in the day took over the
operations of their system. We ended our day at 1830 hours with them and
had 10 runs. The amazing part of today is not what we saw or what we did
for these people but what they did for us. I can not express in words the
overwhelming gratitude and brotherly love that was shared with us from
this department and the people that we took care of. Many stories that the
4 of us can share. We came here to give them something and in return they
gave us a feeling in our hearts that we will never forget. Our crews left
there with a high emotion level with tears in our eyes. The people we
cared for were so grateful. We heard numerous times that "Oh you guys are
the crews from Indiana. Thank you so much for coming." Many of these
people have lost everything and could easily be mad and upset but were so
grateful and appreciative. Keep them in your prayers.
We have completed our exit debriefing. The last part of our mission to get
home. We will be leaving Thursday morning. Maryland is sending in a task
force which will occupy the building were in. We have been told that there
are 300 units that are coming in to NJ from other places. There is still a
lot of work to do here with people still trapped by floods but Multi
Township, District 2 and the state of Indiana have made a difference. This
is the first time ever that any strike teams from Indiana have been the
Hope to see you soon.
Gary Hicks CCEMT-P
Update, Tuesday Oct. 30:
NewsChannel 15 received the following update from the EMS team in New Jersey on Tuesday, the day after Sandy hit the northeast:
Going to try to get this email out while I have a chance. We were up at 4
this morning for briefing. The command units have chosen District 2 which
is the district that we are in to be the front line units going in. As you
know, our evacuation efforts were stood down last night due to dangerous
conditions with hurricane Sandy moving in. There were people that had to
ride out the storm and now are trapped in buildings due to flooding. We are
currently at a staging area waiting on a swift water rescue team and we
will then be mobilizing to Atlantic City to do search and rescue. We know
there is a shelter with many people that are trapped. There are probably
many more that just didn't leave. Currently we are the only district going
in. The teams consist of 2 Multi Township teams, South Bend, Culver,
Walkerton and our district command from Clay Township. All other districts
are currently on standby. We anticipate a long day. I may not be able to
update till much later. The crews are in good spirits and doing good.
Thanks again for all the support, thoughts and prayers.
Gary Hicks CCEMT-P
Update, Tuesday Oct. 30:
NewsChannel 15 received the following update from the EMS team in New Jersey on Monday night, as Sandy was making landfall.
Just wanted to give everyone an update. The eye of the hurricane is making
landfall as I write this. As the eye moves in so is the high tide which is
making the coastline a very dangerous place to be. We had a deployment
earlier for a water rescue which ended up being stood down because of the
dangerous situations that developed. According to local news here and from
Gov. Christie of New Jersey, the mayor of Atlantic City set up a shelter
in the city. Those people
became trapped by the surge and flooding in the
city. Gov Christie refused to have crews go in and get people out due to
the high danger level. He advised that those people were going to have to
ride it out and search and rescue crews will go in in the morning. Gov
Christie also publicly thanked Gov Daniels for sending ambulances from
Indiana and informed his people that Indiana was making a big contribution
by sending crews to NJ. The news crews were thankful for Indiana sending
ambulances to NJ. The people of NJ that we've been around have been very
appreciative of us. We are all doing well and are being cared for well.
The people of Indiana have a lot to be proud of. The management teams
directing the efforts of the deployment have been superb.
Scott Reese, Keith Robbins, Ron Sellers and myself appreciate your support.
Original Article. Monday, Oct. 29, 2012:
A local EMS crew was called by the leader of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security District 2 Ambulance Strike Team to see if they could provide an ambulance and travel to New Jersey to help evacuate hospitals and nursing homes.
Multi-Township EMS , located in Warsaw, sent not one, but two paramedic staffed ambulances to New Jersey early Sunday morning.
The crew received their assignment Sunday night and will be working in Egg Harbor Township, located right outside of Atlantic City.
The crew is staying in a new building for U.S. Federal Air Marshals and has been placed under high security.
According to Scott Sigerfoos, Director of Operations at Multi-Township EMS, New Jersey requested 50 to 75 ambulances from Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois to aid in evacuation before the hurricane hits.
However, crew member Gary Hicks told NewsChannel 15 that their crew is the only EMS unit in New Jersey from out of state.
According to Hicks, the EMS crew is in the direct path of the eye of Hurricane Sandy. He also said Atlantic City is under water and the trauma center has been shut down.
The crew is working to evacuate a hospital just north of Egg Harbor that has lost power. The backup generator for the hospital has also failed.
"Our mission consists of evacuation, 911 calls, and providing shelter. We are here representing our department, our district, and our state. Everyone feels good about what we're doing," Hicks said.
The two ambulances and crews are not expected to leave New Jersey until Thursday, November 1.
YaVonda Ulfig, Indiana Michigan Power spokesperson, said 140 crew members from Fort Wayne, South Bend, Muncie, and Michigan are also on the east coast. I and M have sent out assessors to help assess the damage, forestry crews to help with restoration efforts, as well as overhead contract crews and line resources to help with restoring power.
The Red Cross of Northeast Indiana has sent a total of five people to parts of New York, Pennsylvania, and Baltimore.
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