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Tosa fire chief part of team response to Hurricane Sandy

Nov. 13, 2012

Wauwatosa Assistant Fire Chief Jim Case has joined the recovery effort in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Case and fellow members of the Wisconsin-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team departed for New Jersey Nov. 3, and may be gone several more days.

The team includes one doctor, two nurses and three paramedics from Wisconsin who began by helping staff a 250-bed, makeshift federal hospital station for patients and nursing home residents in Middlesex, N.J.

"We have been released from New Jersey and reassigned to New York," Case said in an email this week. "We have teams out providing medical care at a variety of sites in the city. We are basically always on standby for changing missions, so every day is different. We just stay flexible and do what needs to be done. We haven't been told when we are coming home yet so it could be another week or two."

This is the first mission undertaken by the Wisconsin DMAT team. It is coordinated by Jason Liu, an emergency medicine physician at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin group is part of the National Disaster Medical System, which provides medical-service capabilities during large-scale emergencies that overwhelm local resources. It is administered through a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created in response to Hurricane Katrina.

In Wisconsin, the team is supported by a partnership of several state and national agencies, including the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs.

It also has academic partnerships with the Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, along with the state's three major academic hospitals: Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Froedtert Hospital and University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.

"This type of response is what WI-1 DMAT was built and trained for, and we can be proud of our state's contribution to the relief efforts," Liu said in a statement.

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