Ind. Emergency Responders Prepared to Help Harvey Victims

OPS

Ind. Emergency Responders Prepared to Help Harvey Victims

News Aug 29, 2017

Aug. 29—Days after Hurricane Harvey swept into Texas with pounding rains and catastrophic flooding, Northwest Indiana emergency responders and service organizations are gearing up to provide assistance to the thousands of people suffering from its damage.

"We have our bags and suitcases packed and we're ready to go at a moment's notice," said Ron Donahue, owner of inHealth, a private ambulance service in Valparaiso, LaPorte and South Bend. "We have a few ambulances on standby and we have quite a few of our staff members ready," he said.

Harvey, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm, struck central Texas and Houston's metropolitan area over the weekend forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes, destroying many homes and businesses and claiming the lives of several people.

The Northwest Indiana chapter of American Red Cross sent an emergency response vehicle to the Houston metro area on Saturday, said Beverly Wright-Thames, disaster program specialist for the chapter. The vehicle will be primarily responsible for mobile feeding and providing food, water and toiletries to displaced people and first responders.

The chapter has also already sent a few volunteers to Texas, with more preparing to fly out in the next 24 hours, she said.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security, which coordinates disaster support with agencies throughout the state, has not yet sent resources to Texas, Homeland Security officials said.

But state officials have been alerted and are on standby.

"At some point, the response teams that are down there are going to get exhausted and that's when they start sending in resources from other states," said Gary McKay, logistics section chief and liaison officer for the IDHS District 1 Task Force.

McKay said IDHS is prepared to deploy probably 40 or 50 people from across the state.

"Right now all of our task force teams within Indiana are on standby," he said.

Continue Reading

The IDHS task force is comprised of police officers, firefighters, hospital personnel, mental heath professionals and people ranging from several other professions, McKay said.

Thus far, the only unit deployed to Texas for relief efforts has been a homeland security swift water rescue team that is trained to rescue people from flooding waters out of northern Indiana, he said.

If deployed, Donahue said his team would likely assist in evacuation efforts, helping patients in nursing homes and hospitals relocate to other facilities.

As images and video footage circulate showing the extent of the damage caused by Harvey—destroyed homes, people wading through waist-deep water, and trees and toppled light poles—both Donahue and McKay said they are eager to get to Texas and lend their support.

"We're ready. All of our assets throughout Indiana are pretty much ready to go. We're ready to get down there and help people," McKay said.

"Whether or not we go, it would be great to go, our people are prepared," Donahue said. "We've gone through this training of what it takes to get through this disaster so we're always ready."

Wright-Thames said she does not know how long the Northwest Indiana American Red Cross unit will be in Texas.

"This will be an ongoing process and an ongoing relief operation because of the devastation and the magnitude of this, so we'll be out there helping for an extended period of time."

Source
McClatchy
Post-Tribune, Merrillville, Ind.
Acushnet ambulances will be using Tylenol, Toradol, and ibuprofen as safer alternatives to fentanyl as the opioid epidemic continues to worsen.
Medline is one of the first to achieve a fentanyl-resistant product in response to the growing opioid epidemic.
A portion of ticket sales will help fund the monument in Keansburg, which will feature a piece of a steel beam from the World Trade Center.
The AAA honored SCCAD's efforts in combating the opioid epidemic with a 2017 AMBY Award in the category of Community Impact Program.
The funds will benefit organizations along the Hudson River such as Rockland Paramedic Services, Nyack Hospital, and Maternal Infant Services Network.
As one of the top ten most active emergency departments in the nation, Reading Hospital staff felt it was time to prepare for an active shooter event.
Doctors participating in Minnesota's Medicaid program could face warnings and even removal from the program if they exceed the new dosage limit for more than half of their patients.
The unique intelligence system delivers verified terror alerts within two minutes of a terror threat or attack anywhere in the world.
Over 100 EMS, fire and police personnel participated in a large-scale active shooter training event at Pechanga Resort & Casino.
Tristan Meadows, leader for the campus group Students for Opioid Solutions, presented a bill to the UND School Senate to purchase 50 Narcan kits.
The LBKAlert system alerts community members through call, text or email notifications of emergency events and instructions on what actions to take to protect themselves.
Dispatchers at New Bern Police Department's communications center are now allowed to provide pre-arrival medical instructions to 9-1-1 callers.
Christopher Hunter, MD, discusses the medical response after the Pulse Nightclub attack and how comparing our experience to available evidence will improve understanding of the approach to an active shooter and mass fatality event.
The Wapello County Public Health Office will be distributing 12 Lifepak defibrillators to public locations to increase survival rates for heart attack and cardiac arrest victims.
AMR's Home for the Holidays program provides free rides to at least 40 patients in assisted living facilities to transport them to their loved ones.