Medical pros respond to storm areas
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Oct 30, 2012 | 1601 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Four local medical professionals from Bradley County are aiding in the storm-stricken areas of the Northeast today after Hurricane Sandy ripped through the region Monday evening.

Stan Clark, Gary White and Jennifer Syler are somewhere in New Jersey.

Clark could not reveal their exact location Monday.

Will Crowden, a paramedic and Bradley County Fire-Rescue firefighter, is also in the area helping. According to his last Facebook social media post, Crowden was headed into New York City’s Manhattan at 4 a.m. today.

Flooding and fires were reported in New York by national media.

Crowden and others had apparently staged in New Jersey to await Hurricane Sandy’s arrival.

Clark is a paramedic with Bradley County Emergency Medical Service. White is a former paramedic with BCEMS and Syler is employed at SkyRidge Medical Center.

They are members of the Federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team appropriately called (TN-1) or DMAT.

“DMAT is a group of medical and logistical professionals with the ability to quickly move into a disaster area and provide medical care. Under the auspices of the National Disaster Medical System, DMATs can rapidly deploy for any type of disaster that requires a medical response beyond the capabilities of the local system.

The Tennessee team is one of many in the United States affiliated with the National Disaster Medical System, which is a component of the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations in the Department of Health and Human Services,” according to TN-1 information.

Today, Clark said the group is in a hotel without power. Monday afternoon, he reported moderate rain and winds were hitting the area.

The storm targeted the East Coast, causing millions to be without power and darkening the landscape while triggering major flooding, fires and many other problems.

Earlier Banner reports this week noted Cleveland Utilities, Volunteer Energy Cooperative, and Emergency Medical Services personnel from Bradley County were headed to the area in preparation.

Clark said he joined DMAT in 2004 and was deployed to aid in Hurricane Katrina relief in 2005. He was also deployed to Haiti in 2010 when a deadly earthquake struck the country.

“We ask our community to keep the people in the Northeast in their prayers as well as our team and the many others who have responded and will respond,” Clark said.

“We don’t know how long we will be here,” he added.

Jamie Lewis, Disaster and Emergency Services director for the Hiwassee Chapter of the American Red Cross, said Monday at present, no Bradley County volunteers with the organization have been activated to be deployed; however, Hamilton County officials have an emergency response vehicle staffed to respond.

“After airports reopen in the region, plans are to send Mass Care specialists,” Lewis said.

The American Red Cross noted 257 shelters are open nationwide. For information on donating to the Red Cross for storm relief, visit www.redcross.org/charitable-donations.