NMCSD Cares for Fire-Affected Residents

Story Number: NNS071024-16Release Date: 10/24/2007 5:22:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Greg Mitchell, Naval Medical Center San Diego Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) is reaching out and assisting residents hit with wildfires, Oct. 21, that burned more than 240,000 acres in San Diego County resulting in 513,000 displaced residents.

Eleven major fires developed due to Santa Ana conditions of high winds and low humidity. An emergency operations center was established Oct. 22 at NMCSD to coordinate medical efforts for military personnel, family members and ultimately civilians from other hospitals evacuated in the area.

Over the past two days, NMCSD has accepted 38 civilian patients, transferred due to civilian hospital closures and evacuations. Overnight, NMCSD responded to county medical operation requests to care for 28 nursing home patients from Villa Rancho Bernardo. These residents were initially evacuated to Del Mar which was secondarily evacuated when that zone was overcome by smoke.

NMCSD converted a minimally equipped ward into a fully operational and staffed unit within three hours of notification. Naval Hospital Twenty-nine Palms provided 16 staff members to supplement the care of nursing home patients.

Additionally, NMCSD has accepted 10 patients from Pomerado Hospital in Escondido and is currently providing housing for 33 staff and families at the hospital. Among these, Personnelman 1st Class (SW/AW) William Clincy and his wife were directed to evacuate their home and spent the night at the hospital.

"The service here has been outstanding," said Clincy. "There is plenty of space, the food was great and we were supplied with a large screen TV set that gave us the opportunity to keep up with the latest conditions surrounding our home. I had the feeling of being a part of a family and everyone was in this together."

"People came here for help and we simply provided for them," said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman (FMF/NAC) Trevor Dallas-Orr, special projects officer for the command master chief, who oversaw the temporary evacuation site.

Other examples of NMCSD contributing to the community include: primary care and preventive medicine services at seven locations for an estimated 2,601 displaced personnel, replenished medical supplies for dozens of people who evacuated their homes without necessary medications, 89 people supported on board NMCSD, donation of 12 wheelchairs to Qualcomm Stadium Shelter and 11 Wounded Warriors volunteered to hand out hot lunches.

For more news from Naval Medical Center San Diego, visit www.navy.mil/local/nmcsandiego/.

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