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Strike Team back from Gulf Coast 

An Cottage ALS crew went to  Louisiana to assist with operations for Hurricane Gustav. The crew included Paramedics Ron Tezzano (Team Leader) and Ted Evans, as well as, EMT's John Bohlig and Mike McHale. 

2:00pm - The crew is reporting that they are being sent back to Louisiana State University later today.  The plan is to begin moving patients back to the area hospitals from where they were evacuated to. 
12:00pm - The crew remains stationed at the Baptist Family Center in Zachary, LA.  The accommodations have been upgraded as they are living with generator power and air conditioning units have been delivered and are operational.  They are assisting with the "missions" of the day.   Good news today,  the crew is being told that they will be released on Sunday, hoping to be home Monday night.
Local residents report that this area was hit harder by Gustav than by Katrina.

11:00am - The crew reports that the are spending the day at the Baptist Family Center in Zachary, LA not far from Lane Hospital.  There is no power in the area and it is not expected to be restored for a few weeks. 
8:00pm - The PA EMS Strike teams are moved to Zachary, LA with the orders to evacuate Lane Hospital due to power failure.  160 patients were moved New Orleans.  The crew reports that the staff at Lane Hospital were overly grateful for the assistance provided by PA.  The arrived to people cheering in the street.  The crew would spend the night at the hospital. 
8:00am - After a long day the crew did not perform any rescue operations and were moved to Baton Rouge. 

6:00pm - The strike team learns that the residents in this area, thankfully, followed the evacuation orders and there are little or no patients to be cared for. 
1:00pm - The crew arrives in Thibodeux, LA which is reportedly one of the hardest hit areas in LA.  They set up for triage, treatment and transportation.  A landing zone is set up for critical patients transfers.
5:00am - The Strike Team is moving from the middle part of Louisiana to the gulf coast.  Preliminary reports indicate that they will be assisting with rescue and recovery efforts. 

5:00pm - The crew is still at the evacuation center waiting for the storm to pass.  All are doing well.  Post storm preparations are being made.  PA crews have not yet received assignments yet. 
9:00am - Ron reports that the crew rested in the evacuation center last night.  Showers and meals are being provided.  They have been advised that they can expect hurricane force winds by this afternoon. 

10:00pm - After 20 hours on the road, (after a 24 hour ride) the New Orleans crew arrived back in Alexandria.    All PA crews, along with around 300 personnel from AMR are moved to an evacuation center at LSU. 
10:00am - Ron reports back that the New Orleans crew is actively evacuating 3 New Orleans hospitals, moving patients to the airport.  They are expecting to be working all day, then driving back to the staging area in Alexandria. 
Ron also reports that additional units are arriving, including 50 trucks from American Medical Response, as well as Philadelphia and Maryland. 
6:00am - The crew travels 160 miles south (4 hour ride) in a 50 ambulance convoy, escorted by Louisiana State Police and a fuel truck, arriving in New Orleans. 
2:30am - Mike McHale and CLS Paramedic Charlie Moore are deployed to New Orleans to begin evacuations.  The remainder of the crew slept under the stars on cots at LSU. 

10:30pm - All crews arrive in Alexandria, New Orleans and are staged at the Louisiana State University.  There are some personnel changes upon their arrival.  Team leader, Ron Tezzano is re-assigned to be the "G Team leader" which includes all of the Region 5 units.  John Campos, Director of EMSNP (Region 5) is re-assigned as "Command 2", responsible for all PA strike teams. 
1:30pm - The crew checks in, reporting they are about 100 miles from Mississippi.  Their final destination for today is Alexandria, Louisiana. 
8:00am - The crew drove all through the night, expecting to reach Louisiana in the early evening. 

10:30pm - Along with around 100 additional ambulances from throughout PA,  the crew heads south to Louisiana 
9:30pm - Crew arrives at Harrisburg rally point.  A briefing is given by the PA Dept. of Health. 
7:15pm - Crew departs EMSNP headed to Harrisburg rally point 
6:30pm - Crew arrives at EMSNP in Pittston 
6:00pm - Crew departs Station 51 
2:00pm - Cottage is officially notified of team's deployment 

8:00pm - Cottage Strike Team Leader, Ron Tezzano is notified that the Strike Team is being put on standby.  The crew is assembled.