I’m Home.

I got home Friday evening around 6pm and fell asleep until the next morning.  Moving from day shift to night shift and back to day shift in the course of several days is hard on the body. 🙂

My uniforms are washed and my gear bag and day pack are re-packed and again ready to go.

The hospital where we set up the tents was the closest open hospital to the disaster zone and was designated to receive sick and injured persons from the disaster zone.  It was also expected that people in need would drive in their own cars until they encountered the hospital and “just show up”.

What the team did is called “ED decompression”.  In other words, help the hospital handle a current or expected overload of patients.

It was pretty busy.  We felt we did a good job and more importantly, the patients and their families felt we did a good job.

What I did was

  • Help set up the tents and stock them with medical supplies
  • Set up the 2-way radio equipment, the satellite telephones and help set up the computerized medical records systems.

And after that, repeat the following each day

  • Wake up
  • Shower, etc.
  • Dress
  • Eat
  • Do a quick shift change briefing with my shift replacement.
  • Monitor the electronics stuff to make sure it’s all working.
  • Change the 2-way radio batteries at the middle and end of the 12 hour shift.
  • Do a quick shift change briefing with my shift replacement.
  • Eat.
  • Sleep.

What isn’t mentioned is “drink coffee” as that was an ongoing process.   The only times I wasn’t drinking coffee was when I was showering and sleeping…and I’m not sure about not drinking coffee when I was asleep. 🙂

This routine is similar for all of my deployments and changes only if something breaks or some new requirement is suddenly made.  Then the two of us tech guys get really busy.

The job is fulfilling, rewarding, valuable and very necessary, but it is not often exciting and that’s how it should be.  If it’s exciting too often, then we are not doing our jobs correctly.


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