September 1, 2005 22:00hrs: CMAT staff in Brantford, Toronto and Courtenay, B.C. have been in contact with the Mennonite Disaster Services Committee on both sides of the border and with agencies on the ground in Baton Rouge, and with the American Ambulance Association, emergency officers in Louisiana and Mississippi, and officials with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on the ground.
The situation is extremely critical and medications, medical personnel and ambulances are desperately required. CMAT is preparing at least 5 teams (consisting of 2 Physicians, 2 nurses and 2 paramedics) to go down to Katrina affected areas on request of the Department of Homeland Security. We have notified and are updating Dave Levac, Brant MPP and Govt Whip (CMAT Honorary Board member), as well as Lloyd St. Amand, MP Brant. Officials in the U.S. are calling this disaster reminiscent of Indonesia.
CMAT is appealing for funding at municipal, provincial and federal levels to support these teams. The HURSAR (Heavy Urban Search and Rescue) team out of Vancouver was apparently given $150,000 by the B.C. government as part of their contribution to the province’s disaster relief effort.