EMS Workers Face Trials, Offer Compassion For Disaster Victims - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/6/05-Tyler

EMS Workers Face Trials, Offer Compassion For Disaster Victims

Scott Saddler of East Texas Medical Center EMS traveled to the New Orleans area on Friday and returned Tuesday. He says the impacts of the storm are everywhere.

"[There's a] lot of pain and suffering. You know, you see in the airport where we mainly staged to transport patients, I was telling you that we may have between 8,000 and 10,000 people in the airport," he said.

"People were holding a lot of limp babies, anywhere from being dehydrated and exhausted, to be on the verge of actually dying."

At the staging area near the New Orleans airport, and at other places in the disaster area, the faces told the story.

"It was a worried look. They didn't know what was to come. They didn't know if they were going to get out, and there was chaos even there," Saddler said.

There were some scuffles, but most folks just wanted a hand to help after being without food or clean water or some, the ability to move, for many days.

"There would be people in wheelchairs that urine and feces would just be caked on it, because they had been in it for five days. You would drive in, and you'd see people leaning up against pillions and stuff to rest and you'd say they didn't look like they were breathing. And then you'd come back and they'd be gone because most of them had died," he recalls.

Saddler says amid such incomprehensible despair, he has some hope.

"Believe it or not, there are a lot of good attitudes."

And he hopes the people of New Orleans will see how much East Texas and how much America loves them, and how much the disaster really does affect us all.

"These people fought for their lives for five days, so if it means us working 24-26 hours straight, there was no problem. We were doing it. Because we knew that we were going to be able to come back to our homes and our families, and they don't know what lies ahead for them."

Reported by Morgan Palmer. morganpalmer@kltv.com

 

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