Crozer-Keystone EMS South Paramedics Help Hurricane Sandy Victims
After Hurricane Sandy destroyed the New Jersey shoreline and many other areas, five paramedics from the Crozer-Keystone Health System EMS South unit teamed up with nine other ambulances and 42 EMS (emergency medical services) providers from Delaware County, Chester County and other regions and set out on a mission to assist those in need. The team was deployed as part of Pennsylvania EMS Strike Team at the request of the State of New Jersey.
The mission lasted seven days and took place from Nov. 2 to Nov. 9. The five CKHS paramedics who made the trip were Phil Murphy, Brenda Dreyer, Tim Capuzzi, John Gelety and Robert Reeder, chief of CKHS EMS South.
The team helped out and responded to 911 calls in the area, using their vehicles and equipment. The EMS and fire departments in some communities lost everything, including their ambulances and even buildings, because of Hurricane Sandy. The team worked 24 hours a day for the seven days they were there and were split up to work 12-hour shifts.
“It was total devastation and we were on a mission to help everyone who needed us. Some of the other EMS workers in the area needed time to rest and be with their families and we were there to help them out,” says Reeder. “The people who lost everything were reaching out to us. It didn’t matter what profession they were. They were completely overwhelmed and grateful for the help that the EMS teams from Pennsylvania and other states were giving them.”
The team also offered their services to individuals who were set up in shelters around the area. Once some community members were told it was safe to move back into their homes, the team assisted with moving about 85 elderly people back into their assisted living homes.
Communities that the CKHS EMS South team aided in New Jersey were Hazlet, Brick Township, Point Pleasant, Highlands, Keyport, Union Beach, Keansburg, Ramtown and Atlantic Highlands.