Air medical teams from across the United States played a key role in rescuing trapped residents and evacuating patients stranded in New Orleans hospitals and at the Superdome following severe flooding from Hurricane Katrina.
Rescuers are frequently directed to be self-sufficient for the first 72 hours of operation
When I awoke on Saturday morning and turned on the TV, I heard a news reporter explain that Hurricane Katrina, what was once a Category I hurricane that had crossed south Florida with minimal damage early in the week, was gaining steam and expected to hit land right over New Orleans as a Category IV or V—a tremendously powerful hurricane, she said, capable of great destruction and death throughout south Louisiana. I don’t know what possessed me, but I decided to stay behind to help the sick and injured in New Orleans.
New Orleans EMS crews were forced to operate in a non-existent incident command environment and without communications with their personnel throughout the first four days of the incident.
Paramedic and New Orleans EMS supervisor Jacob Oberman's account of the EMS response to Hurricane Katrina.
Exclusive JEMS coverage of emergency response to Hurricane Katrina, plus lessons learned from those who were on the front lines.