Wednesday, September 3, 2008

PA Sends Help to Gulf Coast

Emergency and rescue workers from Pennsylvania are in Louisiana and Mississippi this week as the Gulf Coast rebounds from Hurricane Gustav.
The state Bureau of Emergency Services sent 250 people and 60 ambulances to help.
Before Gustav hit, Pennsylvania Strike Team members evacuated patients from Louisiana hospitals. Then, while Gustav touched down on Monday, the group took shelter about four hours away. Joe Schmider directs the Pennsylvania E-M-S. He says Tuesday the emergency workers moved on to Thibodaux, a small bayou city in southeastern Louisiana.

"Where they are going to triage, transport and treat patients that are coming in. They are setting up and waiting on patients coming in. There is a command system down there and they are apart of that, this is their mission right now to set this receiving center up."

He says Gustav's force and damage was far less than predicted, so it's unclear how many patients will need the care, medication and natural-disaster assistance the team is trained to provide.
Schmider says the effort will cost about 2 million dollars, money that will likely be reimbursed after Louisiana receives federal assistance.
A Pennsylvania-based -- federal urban search and rescue team is also in the Gulf Coast, helping out in Pearl, Mississippi.

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