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Hitting the Ground Running in Tinian

Over the last two days, the Team Rubicon Emergency Medical Team (EMT) responding to Super Typhoon Yutu traveled more than 7,150 miles from the TR National Operations Center in Dallas to Tinian, CNMI – crossing four time zones and the international dateline along the way.

A lot of people would be completely wrecked after that kind of arduous journey. However, the kind of mission-focused people drawn to Team Rubicon don’t let those kinds of long days affect them. We stepped into the arena and hit the ground running.

Within hours of stepping off the U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter in Tinian, we had our Forward Operating Base (FOB) set-up, met with Tinian Health Center directors, and conducted storm shelter assessments. After that, we sent out a mobile EMT to one of the shelters where they began seeing and treating patients.

Going into our second day, we’ve found our bearings, established a battle rhythm, and will be focused on three key objectives during this operation in Tinian.

One, our EMTs will provide care and aid to residents impacted by Super Typhoon Yutu in the Tinian Health Center, at storm shelters, as well as by making home visits and/or setting up mobile field clinics in the surrounding community. So far our team has treated 27 patients.

Two, approximately 85 percent of the Tinian Health Center medical provider’s homes were damaged or destroyed by Yutu. By integrating our team into the Center’s medical system to treat and care for patients, TR is providing much needed relief to Tinian’s medical workers – allowing them time to deal with storm damage and care for their own families.

And three, our teams are conducting storm shelter assessments in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHC) to provide information on what each shelter has, what they need, and what the conditions of the residents living there are. These assessments provide “ground truth” to help these organizations manage their response, make more informed decisions, task NGOs and other responding agencies, and most importantly, prevent illness outbreaks in the community.

Stay tuned for more updates and progress on this medical operation in Tinian.

DJ Sprenger is from Dallas, TX. Prior to joining Team Rubicon, he worked in crisis communications and PR at H+K Strategies and worked in public affairs at AT&T. DJ graduated from Bellarmine University where he competed in NCAA Division I lacrosse. Outside of work, DJ can be found in the gym, out in the mountains, traveling with his wife Kristen or brewing coffee.