Answering the call: local Medshore teams head to Florida

By Melissa Rollins, Editor,


When Robert Powell got the call, he packed his bags. A Field Training Officer with Medshore Ambulance, he was headed where he was needed: Tallahassee, Florida.

Powell, a former Army medic, left his home in South Carolina Sept. 10 and headed for the destruction that was left in the path of Hurricane Irma.

“We first went to the FEMA Staging Center in Tallahasee,” Powell said. “We got there (Sept. 10) about 1800 (6 p.m.). Then we found out we were going to Orlando and we SP’d out that evening.”

As a military trained medic, emergency response is what Powell knows best.

“I was a medic in the Army so this is nothing new for me, we just aren’t getting shot this time,” Powell said. “It is going pretty good. Everything’s got growing pains but as a whole it is pretty well organized. We’ve got some pretty good people out here doing. The crews are phenomenal and everybody is working good; everyone is coming together. It is just like being in the military again.”

What is different this go-round is that Powell is a newlywed.

“I’ve been only married about two and half months now,” Powell said. “We dated for seven years but we just got married. I didn’t want to leave because she’s got a cold, she got my cold, but she understands. She is real supportive.”
When the News and Press talked with Powell, his group was waiting to break camp and head out.

“Right now it looks like some of us are going to be with the water rescue and others are going to be running 911 with the county,” Powell said. “Whatever else they need we will be right there with them but that is our two main missions right now.”

Medshore’s Strike Team disaster response groups have worked to aid in emergency and recovery efforts in the past, sending people to help after Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina,

Ike and Irene.

While family is left behind, Powell said that they are focused right now on what they can do to help those affected by the devastating storm.

“How long we’ll be down here is up in the air right now,” Powell said. “From my understanding, just from hearsay, from everyone talking, it could be up to a couple of weeks; two or three weeks. It just depends on the destruction and stuff down here and how long we are needed and where they need us next.”

Author: mrollins

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