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Door County's Emergency Services Director Helps On East Coast

Door County's emergency services director recently returned from a two-week deployment to the East Coast to help with medical needs in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

Eric Christensen (kneeling, on right in picture) is a member of WI-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT),  a part of the National Medical Disaster System, which operates under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

WI-1 DMAT was deployed from November 3 through November 17.

Christensen tells the first part of the team's assignment involved manning a 250-bed field medical station/shelter for hospital overflow at Middlesex County College in Edison, New Jersey, where he says they "pretty much set up a whole hospital."

Following that one-week assignment, Christensen says the team packed up its equipment, which came on two 18-wheelers, and moved on to New York City, where the main team was assigned to a field medical station at a community college in Queens.

Christensen says he was part of a smaller task force which provided medical care to about 126 patients at John Jay College in Manhattan -- patients who came from heavily damaged Belleview Hospital and from a destroyed nursing home on Long Island.

Christensen says this was the first deployment of WI-1 DMAT into a disaster zone but he says they were paired with a very experienced team from Florida.

Christensen says it was an honor to be a part of the team and thankful to be able to help in some way, although he says the job isn't finished.

"There's still a lot of work to be done out there," says Christensen. "That'll be an ongoing operation for quite some time."

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