LEBANON, N.H. (AP) — A specialized disaster medical assistance team based in northern New England is seeking new members.
The team from New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont has expertise in emergency and wilderness medicine, toxicology, pharmacology, respiratory therapy, orthopedics and radiological protection, among other fields.
Dubbed NH-1, the team operates within the National Disaster Medical System and is overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The team says it needs 40 new clinical members to complete its roster and become a standalone operational unit that can be deployed by the federal government within 24 hours anywhere in the country. It’s looking for people who have the ability to work in an austere environment and adapt to situations where infrastructures and common practices have been disabled or rendered useless.
Team members were sent to a hurricane shelter in the Bronx, N.Y., after Hurricane Sandy to fill prescriptions and dispense medications.
Pharmacist Rick Potter said at the scene, he filled prescriptions for up to 16 hours a day in a cramped room guarded by armed federal agents. He dispensed antibiotics, pain medication, vaccine, anti-anxiety agents and worked on filling missing maintenance medications for long-term care patients misplaced in the wake of the storm.
“You want the person beside you to be able, when tired, when wiped out, when annoyed, to set all that aside and get the job done,” said Robert Gougelet, acting team leader. “Everyone will have to improvise and overcome hurdles, over and over again.”