Wake Forest Baptist sends trained volunteers to help Sandy victims

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Six volunteers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center are spending the next several days in Brooklyn helping victims of hurricane Sandy. 

The NC-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team is based in Winston-Salem. The team is a federally funded group of volunteers that helps any time the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services deploys them.

A pharmacist, physician’s assistant, E.M.T, paramedic, nurse and nurse practitioner from Wake Forest Baptist have been with the team in Brooklyn since Monday.

Frank Caruso, the team’s Deputy Commander , says they’ve been busy from the moment they arrived.

“About 5 minutes after we got here a series of ambulances started showing up and we had to bring in about 50 patients that were found in a nursing home in the Far Rockaways,” said Caruso.

The team’s job is to give basic care for nursing home patients being brought to the make shift shelter at Brooklyn Technical High School.

Caruso says their job is, “a lot of times its hydration, it’s getting them medicine they haven’t had in a couple of days and managing their diabetes or hypertension. Just taking care of their physical needs.”

The shelter has power and is not in an area heavily damaged but Caruso says it has hundreds of people still with no place to call home.

He’s been impressed with the volunteers from across the country and New York coming to help.

“Everybody came together to work hard and it’s just amazing, these events really brings out the good in people,” said Caruso. 

The NC-1 DMAT is scheduled to work in Brooklyn through November 10th.