Hoosiers aid East Coast storm victims

Oct 30, 2012

Indiana emergency response teams are heading to the East Coast to help states deal with Hurricane Sandy and an overlapping severe weather system.

A total of 107 Hoosiers and 44 vehicles – including 24 ambulances – will assist in New York, New Jersey and Maryland.  State Department of Homeland Security director Joe Wainscott says Indiana began receiving requests for help Saturday.  One of the units is already in Maryland; the others will arrive on the East Coast soon. 

Wainscott says the bulk of the personnel are EMS providers.

“These are the same folks that, if you call 9-1-1- to your home, these are the same folks that are going to be responding, so…although they’re just coming from different portions of the state,” Wainscott said. “Our goal is not to deplete any one area of their ability to take care of themselves while folks are gone.”

Wainscott says the teams are expected to be deployed to the coast until November 11 – though he says that could be shortened or lengthened depending on the severity of the crisis. 

Indiana received further requests for help Monday, though Wainscott says the difficulty now is transporting people and equipment to the region. 

Flying has been ruled out and driving may be complicated by forecasted blizzards in the Appalachian Mountains.