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Hurricane Maria Medical Evacuations Coordinated Out Of MacDill AFB

Tech Sgt Peter Dean
U.S. Air Force
Senior Airman Patrice Barnett, 45th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, medical technician, prepares medical transport equipment in preparation of evacuating victims of Hurricane Maria.

The U.S. Air Force is helping to evacuate critically ill and injured patients from three Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. One of the first evacuation flights left from Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base Sunday with a crew of Air Force Reservists from the 45th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron.

They transported 61 patients from St. Croix and flew them to Atlanta. The patients were then transported to local hospitals.

Additional medical evacuation flights are continuing this week out of MacDill to Puerto Rico and St. Thomas.

The hurricane medical evacuees are being flown to one of four cities determined by FEMA and other government agencies: Atlanta; Columbia, S.C.; Shreveport, LA; and Jackson, MS.

Some of the hospitals on the islands still lack reliable services like electricity and water that can impact patient care.

Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.
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