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Local Hospital Sending Medical Response Team To The Camp Fire

Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder meets with its medical resp...

Credit: Scripps Health

Above: Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder meets with its medical response team before heading out to help victims of the Camp Fire in Chico, Nov. 11, 2018.

Scripps Health is sending a medical response team to Chico made up of five nurses. They’re going to help victims of the Camp Fire which has killed at least 56 people.

"There’s a whole lot of survivors that don’t need to be in the hospital — don’t need to go to the emergency room — but have medical issues," said Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder.

Cal Fire said there are over 5,000 firefighters trying to put out the Camp Fire. Now California’s Emergency Medical Services Authority, which is in charge of coordinating disaster medical response, is asking for some help.

"In fact what we heard from them - say - yesterday (Wednesday) was that they were desperate for doctors and nurses to come up and help support them in the shelters," Van Gorder said.

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The Scripps nurses will not be working in hospitals. Instead, they will be staying in shelters with people directly affected by the fires. Scripps has had a medical response team since 2001.

"We’ve been to Hurricane Katrina — the Gulf after Katrina," Van Gorder said. "Haiti. We were out in Rancho Bernardo after the wildfires in 2007, and Nepal in the last couple of years. So it’s a very experienced team."

Scripps said it was asked to deploy to Chico for one to two weeks. Van Gorder said they are in the process of getting a second team together if they need to be there longer.

More than 5,000 firefighters are trying to put out the Camp Fire. California’s Emergency Medical Services Authority, which is in charge of coordinating disaster medical response, is asking for some help, and Scripps Health is responding.

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Matt Hoffman
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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