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Haiti: The US Embassy

As the US Public Health Service logistics team, we enjoyed the relative comforts of the US embassy (known as the “Embassy Suites” by team members based out of more austere sites).  We had a secure perimeter, a constant breeze to subdue malaria-carrying mosquitoes, a clean parking lot for our tent floor, showers, and air conditioning in the nearby buildings to temporarily relieve the blistering heat. However, these unexpected comforts were matched by the extraordinary physical exertion needed to organize, maintain, and deploy the incessant influx and efflux of supplies.

In addition to providing diplomatic services and functioning as a launch point for medical supplies, the US Embassy sough to provide a level of medical care for Americans as well as embassy employees and their families.  Disaster Medical Assistant Team (DMAT) members converted offices within the Embassy into an Emergency Room. Most care was provided by DMAT members, with the assistance of translators such as LT Lamarre.

 

 The US Embassy in Port au Prince, Haiti in the days after the 2010 Earthquake. Note the crowd of people outside the gates on the right and the tents throughout the compound set up as temporary housing for the responders. Image: Google maps.

 A V-22 Osprey take off from the US Embassy landing zone. Flights transporting patients and supplies were nearly incessant.

 

CAPT Lawrence “Jeff” Gaskin constructs a pharmacy at the US Embassy.

 

 Inside the pharmacy at the US Ebassy.

 

 USPHS logistics officers assist USAid personnel to deploy supplies.

 

 CAPT Tim Radtke and LCDR Joseph Christ discuss logistics with Guido.

 

 LT Lamarre translates between a Haitian patient and DMAT medical personnel.

 

 LCDR Joe Christ keeps LTJG Sean McMahan looking sharp.

 

Ms. Scarlatti, a healthcare provider from Tennessee Disaster Medical Assistance Team 1, interviews a patient in an embassy office converted into a makeshift emergency room.