On Friday, September 5th 2008, the San Diego Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT San Diego CA-4), co-sponsored by UC San Diego Medical Center and International Relief Teams of San Diego, Inc., has been activated to deploy to the Southeast to prepare for the anticipated medical needs of Hurricane Ike victims. The 35-person team of local medical volunteers is led by Irving “Jake” Jacoby, M.D., Emergency Medicine physician and Medical Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response at UC San Diego Medical Center. The San Diego DMAT team will depart from San Diego to Los Angeles on Saturday, September 6.
DMAT San Diego CA-4 is staged in Atlanta preparing for a response to the hurricanes in the southeast. Hurricane Ike is the eighteenth deployment for DMAT CA-4 since 1994.
After connecting with more than four other U.S. DMAT teams also being deployed, the highly-trained cohort of disaster response experts will ultimately land in Atlanta to assist with pending evacuations on the Southeast coast. The highly experienced team has responded to some of the worst disasters in U.S. history, including Hurricane Katrina in 2005, where they cared for victims of the storms and flooding in makeshift medical facilities at the Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans. They were also deployed to New York after the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001.
“DMAT San Diego CA-4 will head to Atlanta as part of the Federal Mission of the National Disaster Medical System. Our team will support medical needs related to Hurricane Ike evacuations, acute medical issues after the storm passes, and for whatever is necessary, when and where the storm hits.” said Jacoby. “We’re packed and ready to go.”
The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Ike is a Category 3 storm in the Atlantic. Ike’s maximum sustained winds are near 125 mph as of 5 a.m. EDT Friday. The eye of the hurricane is located about 460 miles north of the Leeward Islands and moving west near 15 mph. The Hurricane Center says Ike could be near the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas on Sunday.
Team members from UC San Diego Medical Center include: Irving “Jake” Jacoby M.D., Colleen Buono, M.D., Therese Rymer N.P., Les Bunnell R.N., and Julie Zimmerman R.N.
About DMAT San Diego CA-4
A wide variety of skilled professionals volunteer to serve as part of DMAT San Diego CA-4, each contributing to the goal of being able to set up a medical team which can be self-sufficient in a disaster area for up to 72 hours. In the medical area, the team has a pool of physicians, nurses and nurse practitioners, EMTs, paramedics, pharmacists and pharmacy techs, dentists, respiratory therapists, communications specialists and other allied personnel, to be able to supply medical care in an austere environment. Other support personnel are needed to enable the medical team to do its job. These include personnel in the areas of communications, security, medical supply and logistics, environmental health specialists and sanitarians.
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Media Contact: Jackie Carr, 619-543-6163,