Golden Valley County emt joins a select few in helping hurricane victims

A local emergency medical responder from Golden Valley County, ND is joining a select few from the state in assisting victims of hurricane Florence, and she is up for the challenge, but a little nervous at the same time.

Jamie Gray, who is an EMT  with Community Ambulance Service in Beach, ND will be joining 27 other registered nurses, paramedics, and EMTs in offering assistance to people in North Carolina, as part of North Dakota’s Emergency Management Assistance Compact medical response team.  

“There is a group of about a thousand people in North Dakota that are medically trained and have raised their hand and said in an emergency ‘send me’, ” said Tim Wiedrich, Section chief for ND Emergency Preparedness and Response.

Wiedrich said congress ratified EMAC in all 50 states, including District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

He also said EMAC enables disaster impacted states, like North Carolina, to request and receive assistance from other states. 

Gray and the other medical responders will be assisting victims of hurricane Florence in medical shelters.

The last report said more than 10,000 people are currently displaced. 

“It could be anything from asthma, high blood pressure, diabetic situations, elder care, ect, ” said Wiedrich. 

Gray has only been an EMT in Beach for a little over a year, but one of the things that might be an advantage for her in North Carolina is her experience working in rural communities. 

“I have had to go to homes where people have lost loved ones,” said Gray. 

Jenn Starkel, who is a paramedic at Community Ambulance Service and works with Gray, said rural emergency responders have to be adaptable to all situations, and she thinks her co-worker will be up to the challenge. 

“She(Gray) is incredibly positive and super flexible. It doesn’t matter who she is working with or what situation she is in. . . she is an asset”.

Gray anticipates the bulk of her work will healing broken hearts and not bones for families who have lost everything from severe flooding and property damage. 

“Hopefully I get to put on a lot of band -aids. . . and give out a lot of hugs. . . and being there for support”.

She and the other members from the medical response team will be in North Carolina for fifteen days, and will return on October 3. 

Starkel said that she and the crew members from Community Ambulance Service plan on having a BB-Q when Gray returns, and they can’t wait to hear her stories.

Wiedrich said anyone with medical training interested in becoming a member of North Dakota’s Emergency Management Assistance Compact can go to NDHELP.org

 

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