DMAT San Diego CA-4 * AUGUST 2004 Newsletter
****  Volume 13,  Number 8   ****
A deployable  Disaster Medical Assistance Team. Affiliated with the National Disaster Medical System. Founded 1991
DMAT San Diego CA-4 is a public benefit, non-profit  501(c)3 corporation., registered  in the State of California and with the IRS.

Co-Sponsored by: UCSD Medical Center & International Relief Teams
Mailing Address: 200 West Arbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92103-8676

DMAT CA-4 Information Line: 619-543-6216
eMail address of Newsletter Editor, Jake Jacoby:
DMAT CA-4 WEB site:

Calendar Of Events..........................................Page 1
Hurricane Charlie Updates.............................. .Page 1
eMail from Bill Gephart ...................................Page 4
Search dogs from 9/11 Dying.............................Page 5
Travels for DMAT............................................Page 5


DMAT CA-4 Team Meeting
Wed. , August 25, 2004
18:00 hours
" Management of Thoracic  Trauma in the field"

Speaker: Dr Julie Swain
Special Assistant to the Director,
Division of Cardiovascular Devices
U. S. Food and Drug Administration

Team meetings the rest of the calendar year:
Wednesday, September  22, 2004 @ 1800 hrs.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004 @ 1800 hrs.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004 @ 1800 hrs (3rd instead of 4th Wednesday, due to Thanksgiving holiday)
Wednesday, December 15, 2004: Holiday Party

Unless announced, All team meetings will be held at the
DMAT CA-4 Ops Center

8830-G Rehco Road,  San Diego, CA 92121. 
Saturday, September 11, 2004: RELEASE OF SOULS CONCERT and MEMORIAL .
DMAT CA-4 and  San Diego Urban Search &   Rescue Task Force to participate in Flag ceremony. SIGN UPS NEEDED.

Thursday, October 7, 2003: The 7th Annual California Statewide Medical & Health Disaster Management Conference, Temecula, CA 0700 to 1700 hrs.

Thursday thru Sunday, January 27, 28, 29 and 30, 2005: "Rough 'n' Ready 2005" Statewide DMAT exercise, Los Alamitos Air Station.

May 2005, Date TBA : BATREX 2005 Exercise- Joint Training Exercise with SD US&R TF.  PLANNING TO BEGIN SOON.

Hurricane Charley UPDATES:

No Sit Reps from NDMS for Hurricane Charley, but Press Releases from FEMA appear to be on the web: (See, for example, Release
Number: HQ-04-117). 

Also,  Situation Reports (SitReps) can be found at  Click on the Hurricane
Charley link.

 Here is a gleaning of emails  from the web, which are  related to the response, which I have  selected since they have the most information about the  actual DMAT response:  [EDITOR]

Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 05:14:16 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re:  Hurricane Charlie
FL5 is in Port Charlotte, We have taken over ER operations for Charlotte  Regional Hospital.  The hospital is shut down, no power or water. We provided care
for over 50 patients today.
Kevin G. McGillicuddy PA-C

Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 06:37:16 -0400
From: Linda Garvey <>
I am a RN with FL2.  I work (ed) at Fawcett Memorial Hospital in Charlotte County.
They are in the same condition as Charlotte Regional Hospital - generator power and no water.  Their ER is in operation to treat & release or transfer. Several patients were treated yesterday.
We were expecting a DMAT to set up in the hospital parking lot yesterday, none came.
All patients have been evacuated with the assistance of Ambulance services from as far away as Miami, who arrived at 8 pm Fri. Thanks for your very speedy response!
The National Guard is on site.  Thanks again!
Broward County Sheriff's Department was observed at major intersections directing traffic.  Again - Thank You!
Thanks to everyone who is here that I did not see or recognize also.
Clean up has already begun.  Preliminary estimates - 2 months before Fawcett Memorial Hospital will be reopened.

I am able to be deployed but, my team is out of Ft. Myers, FL and put on Alert Fri morning.
Would love to assist with another team, but not sure how to go about that.
I don't think that the admin. from my team is reachable due to communications problems.
I am able to receive voice mail through my cell phone, but only able to retrieve them via a land line. 
Linda Garvey RN

Date: Wed, Aug 18, 2004
At any rate FL-3 came home Tuesday night, leaving 5 nurses,  1 Doc,  1 Pharmacist in our ED.  FL-2 sent us a nurse(s)  Historically FL-3 staged with FL-5 and then went in and set up a full BOO at St Josephs ED parking lot in Punta Gorda the night of the storm.

We supplied much logistical support to keep the ED running with lights and generators etc.

We saw 100 + patients in the tents and over 150 in the ED
We moved the operation inside within three days and we sent the team home leaving the aforementioned members.

Ronald A Wegner ARNP  CRNA
Commander FL-3 Disaster Medical Assistance Team
US Department of Homeland Security
National Disaster Medical System ( NDMS)
Tampa Bay Regional Disaster Network Inc.
Anesthesia & Disaster Services Inc.

---- Original Message -----
From: <>Renee Roberts
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2004 1:33 PM
Subject: Re: Hurricane Charlie

There was a pic of a patient inside the tent, posted on Yahoo news. The URL I have is:


At least it sure *looks* like a Western Shelter tent, and here is the caption:

"Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael Brown, left, talks with Bill Nylander of Port Charlotte, Fla., as he is treated for a burned leg he received while fixing his roof in Punta Gorda, Fla., Tuesday, Aug, 17, 2004. Brown announced in Punta Gorda that more than 1000 checks have mailed to victims of Hurricane Charley. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) "That looks like FL-5's stuff. Seen it a few times and it looks like their tent set-up. They have a portable ac unit and tend to use their insulation panels to keep the ac in.

 Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 13:58:04 -0400
Subject: Re: Hurricane Charlie
I am proud at least some of the Florida teams got to participate. I can tell you a few tales about the FEMA run around one Florida team got. Read the headlines on the Jacksonville Times Union from two days ago. We left Jacksonville and had reporters and photojournalists traveling with us in our caravan. They got the whole scoop about our team. It was a FEMA slam. It didn't help the cause any better when Alan Gionet caught up with us in Sarasota and caught us standing around the Bob Evan restaurant waiting for our orders as to where to go to next. On the same day we were caught on video waiting for orders, we got  2 miles from Arcadia and were told to turn around and return to the staging area in Ocala. After we got back to Ocala, 4hr away, FEMA asked if we could send nurses to Arcadia. WE WERE JUST THERE.....HELLO..... God be with the ones who made it passed the bureaucracy and made it to where the people needed the help. From what I saw, a few more medical stations set-up in areas such as Arcadia could have been proven useful. These are the opinions of one person and do not necessarily reflect the views of my teams, Thank You.

Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 15:03:59 -0400
Subject: Huricane Charlie
From the Storm front:
Hello everyone. Thought I would give you an update on what happened and is happening here in SW Florida following Hurricane Charlie.
Most important--everyone on our team is alright. Some of us suffered major losses of homes, belongings, vehicles and boats.......but we are alive and everything else will eventually sort itself out.

For those of you that went thru or to Hurricane Andrews in Miami, this would bring back all the stark images of total destruction of Mobile home parks, conventional homes completely flattened, roofs blown off, exterior buildings, garages and pool cages completely missing, cars and trucks destroyed. The entire infrastructure was demolished. Over 90% of the power lines in Punta Gorda were taken down by the wind and falling trees. The majority of the poles were snapped in half causing most roads to be blocked which really hampered the initial emergency responses. Everywhere are huge trees uprooted and most of the ones still standing have their tops broken off.
Communication was completely gone-- No phones, radios were inoperative and cell phones were useless.No power anywhere. There were three hospitals in our immediate area. All three suffered damage.Only one remained functional and then only in a limited capacity.
Thankfully, our local EOC evacuated most of the parks and low areas prior to landfall. Charlie seemed just a concern at Category 1.......and became our nightmare when he accelerated and changed direction at the very last, becoming a Category 4 (and at times a 5). Our complacency turned into fear as we realized our error and did not have time to relocate our families to safer quarters. The eye of the storm made a direct path up Charlotte Harbor and demolished a town I was born and raised in. It will never be the same. Old familiar landmarks and buildings with memories are gone. People are changed. It doesn't seem like "home" anymore
People have been without electricity or water in some areas since the storm with little expectation of having them back for several weeks yet. Many are living still in darkened homes, or makeshift shelters trying to cope with the intense heat, horrid humidity and the growing mosquito problem. With the large elderly population here, it is rapidly becoming an issue to provide proper care for them.
Today, post 6 days, much has been done to improve the situation. Main arteries are cleared-- Power and water has been restored in a few areas-Phones are beginning to work sporadically, cellular service is still pathetic
Loss of life has been minimal. Less than 25 so far.Hospitals are beginning to function again, but still compromised.
Thank God for our DMATs- All the Florida teams joined in to help. FL5 was in Punta Gorda and saw the largest patient load. John Caprio and his team have done a fantastic job. FL3 with Ron Wegner set up at St Josephs in Port Charlotte and took over their critical care. The professionalism and organization has been well noted and recognized by the entire medical community. FL1 with Gary Kruschke staged in Arcadia a few miles away and assisted that community as well- LLoyd Parker with FL6 and Karen Ketche from FL4 were staged in Lakeland area with the LST headed by our past commander Gary Lindbergh.Al 3 and Ga 3 helped also and there may be  more who responded. With the communications issue, it was hard to track everyone and I have not intentionally left anyone out. Our team rostered the night of the storm and has been assisting the other teams and augmenting hospital staff as needed. Our cache, while wet, is still intact although our warehouse sustained major damage
I know this is long winded, but I've had precious little time to contemplate how much the DMAT family means to all of us.There may be petty arguments and turf wars at times, but whenever there has been a crisis or emergency, we have all pulled together to help each other. I cannot express enough gratitude to everyone for their assistance, concern and support. Your e mails and calls have helped us to survive a most frightening and catastrophic event. Thank you all for being here for us.
Bob Hendrickson
Unit Commander

     My Task Force deployed at 2200 Friday night.  We were all in uniform and it facilitated the "group" all getting there together even though we didn't know all the members of the Task Force and we came from many different departments.  We arrived in Port Charlotte at 0400 Saturday morning and at 0405 our task force was joined with another and directed to Charlotte Memorial to evacuate the hospital.  There was no time to "dress" for the party.  The military is in uniform for the convoy in, stay in uniform for the mission, and are in uniform when they demob.  We should do no less.

Val A. Deutsch

From the CDR's  eMail:

Here's an eMail from BILL GEPHART, one our team members who has been on  active duty with the US Army. His alertness and astuteness should be noted:

 Dr. Jake,
I'm sitting at an internet cafe in Nairobi, Kenya.  Just had an interesting experience w/ 5 well-dressed Kenyan men, who showed me their "Kenyan Police" creds and "arrested" some native I had been talking to.  They wanted me to go with them to testify against the guy (...they said he was a known drug dealer).  I was suspicious mainly because I don't know what Kenyan PD credentials looks like, and tried to get them to walk back to my hotel with me (because they did act like real cops -- so I wasn't sure.) Anyway, about 4 mins into their curb-side interrogation of me, I noticed that one of the inspectors was shaking.  He tried telling me it was malaria, but I thought it was because he was nervous.  So, while I thought briefly about taking the toughest-looking one out, and then running like hell to my hotel room, I soon had the realization that these tall, slim Kenyan dudes could probably catch my fat, white ass pretty quickly, and that if they all decided to fight, I probably wouldn't stand a chance.  So, being the coward that I am, I pulled out the 1100 Kenyan shillings (about $15.00) I had in my left front pocket and asked if they would like to buy themselves some tea, while I went to my hotel to call the US Embassy.  They smiled and let me go.  Still the whole time I wasn't sure if they were leg it or not, but when I got back to my hotel, I asked one of the security guards to see his Kenyan National ID card.  Sure enough, it was the exact same card as those that the two "cops" had shown me.  An inexpensive lesson learned.... 
I wonder what would've happened if I got in their car with them????
Great newsletter, as always.

Please tell Ken Rogers thanks for the DMAT-relevant info off of the Worldwide Web.
Lastly, I finally finished the DMAT Core courses from UMBC, and have done the first couple "Advanced" classes.  (It was a mind-blower to be sitting in the middle of nowhere, in East Africa, listening to Ken Miller's voice talking to me for about two hours about Advanced Airway Management!)  In any event, most of the courses are actually pretty interesting, and I've learned a lot of useful info about DMATs and disasters in general. (Although it did take me a couple of years to realize that the only time I would ever find to be able to work on the classes, would be in the middle of the night.  Since it's all web-based though, that's pretty easy.)

Anyway, I hope you are all well, and it looks like I'll be released from the Army in the summer of 2005, to come back to SD.

Well, brother, I need to go.  Hope you and the family are well.

Your friend,  Billiam G.
[Bill Gephart]


Also from the Web:
4 Search Dogs From Ground Zero Have Died Since 9/11

Eight Dogs Died From Cancer
POSTED: 7:31 am EDT August 23, 2004
NEW YORK -- Fourteen search and rescue dogs who dug through the rubble of the World Trade Center have since died.
Eight of the dogs died from cancer.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine said they don't believe there is a connection between the deaths and the chemicals the dogs were exposed to.
But the New York Daily News said some dog owners blame the mix of chemicals their dogs were exposed to during the hunt for survivors and remains after the attack on Sept. 11, 2001.
The lead author of the study said the surviving dogs will need to be monitored for the rest of their
lives. Dr. Cynthia Otto said if they begin to have health problems, there is a good chance that people who  worked to clear the site could have problems as well.
Travels for DMAT

This has been a busy month for your DMAT leaders.  The following have been traveling for DMAT CA-4:

Scott Norton- to San Francisco in July  for Logistics Training from FEMA

Zona Wahrenbrock - to San Francisco in early August for Administrative Officer training  by FEMA,  to Los Alamitos Joint Training Base in August for planning for the Off 'n' Reddy 2005 exercise, and to Denver, CO August 13th  for Budget Training by FEMA

Jake Jacoby - to Atlanta for Budget Training by FEMA on Aug 18th,  to Sacramento in June for the statewide Team Commander's meeting, and to Los Alamitos for the first planning session for Rough and Ready 2005.  

The time being put in to running our DMAT keeps increasing, as FEMA views as as full time employees ( but only paid part time).  Many thanks are extended to all those who are responding to the needs of the team with extra work, and extra time off from being with family. As the transition to FEMA continues, we need to remain focused on our medical missions and preparedness. If you want to help our team, the most valuable thing you can do is to get on line and start taking the DMAT  Core Curriculum  already, and not put it off any further. In fact, it is now REQUIRED, and as a team, we must progress towards 100% participation by our team members. All old and new members MUST complete the Core Curriculum soon in order to be qualified to deploy. In addition, we will find some of our budget will be affected by the percentage of our team that is making progress towards Core Curriculum completion. It is really quite valuable information,  and almost all units have been written by DMAT members, so you know the information is practical and relevant. If you have trouble getting on line, contact our Team Training Officer Sara Ontiveros, at OceanProwler@ If your computer is too slow to manage the course,  contact Zona Wahrenbrock  [] and make an appointment to come to our Ops Center and get online to take it on our team computer.